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 Pak violates ceasefire in Poonch, India retaliates strongly

POONCH, AUG 18: In yet another ceasefire violation, Pakistani troops fired on Indian positions along Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch sector, forcing Indian troops to retaliate strongly, a defence spokesman said today. Pakistani troops fired on Indian forward posts along LoC in Krishna Ghati, Balakote and Hamirpur belts of Poonch district around 2345 hours last night, defence spokesman S N Acharya said. Pakistan used heavy calibre weaponry apart from mortars and rockets to target Indian positions forcing troops guarding the borderline to retaliate effectively, he said.
There was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the firing. There have been 13 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in the past eight days, Army officials said.
70 ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops have taken place this year from January 1 to August 5, which is 85 per cent more than those during the same period last year, they added.
Infiltration bid foiled along LoC in Kupwara
SRINAGAR: Army today foiled an infiltration bid by militants near the Line of Control in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir but there was no report of any casualty.
"Alert troops noticed movement of heavily armed militants along the Line of Control in Keran sector of Kupwara at around 2.30 am. The militants were challenged, triggering off exchange of firing between the two sides," an army official said.
He said the firing lasted for nearly three hours and the militants have apparently crossed the LoC back into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
"We are not leaving anything to chance and combing operations are going on in the area. So far no recoveries have been made from the scene of the gun battle," he said.The official said there were no casualties reported in the operation.
Infiltration has been on the rise since the month of June this year as security officials believe that the handlers of militants in PoK are trying to push in as many ultras as possible to replace the cadres eliminated by security forces.
Army has said it has killed 28 militants in counter-insurgency operations since June 24 this year in Kashmir valley.
Meanwhile, security forces have launched a cordon and search operation this morning in Handwara area of Kupwara, 85 kms from here, following presence of militants in the area, police said.
The search operations were going on till reports last came in, the police said.
Army troops sight UFO in Ladakh again
NEW DELHI: Indian Army troops have sighted mysterious unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in the Ladakh sector along the Line of Actual Control with China.
On August 4, the UFO was sighted by Army troops in Lagan Khel area in Demchok in Ladakh area in the evening and a report has been sent to the Army headquarters by the local formation, sources said here.
There have been over 100 sightings of UFOs along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the last several months but this sighting has come after some time-gap, they said.
Asked about the UFO sightings by the Army troops in Ladakh sector, Defence Minister A K Antony had told Parliament that there is no conclusive proof of sighting of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) over the Sino-Indian border.
The UFO sighting on August 4 comes after reports suggested that a top-level science research institute had found that the UFOs were actually planets Jupiter and Venus, which are clearly visible from the high altitude and thin atmosphere terrain of Ladakh.
The reports said that the research institute had found out that the Army troops deployed in the area had mistaken the two planets as UFOs.
However, it is not clear whether the conclusion arrived at by the research institute has been accepted by the Army and Government or not.
Last year, the 14 Corps, which looks after military deployment along Kargil-Leh and the frontiers with China, had sent reports to the Army Headquarters about the sightings of UFOs by an ITBP unit in Thakung near the Pangong Tso Lake.
Reports suggested that these yellowish spheres appear to lift off from the horizon on the Chinese side and slowly traverse the sky for three to five hours before disappearing.
The officials had confirmed that these UFOs were not Chinese drones or satellites. PTI
Pak planning more attacks along Indian border: Army
POONCH: Amid heightened tension along the LoC, which has witnessed a spurt in ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Army today said it has inputs about Pakistan trying to engineer more Border Action Team (BAT) attacks along the borderline.
India has blamed BAT, which is a mix of Pakistani Special Forces personnel and terrorists, for the brutal killing of its two soldiers in January, one of whom was beheaded, and killing of its five personnel along the Line of Control in Poonch sector.
"There are inputs of such (BAT) actions. In this area they have not done anything so far. There are inputs that they are going to try something (engineer BAT attacks on the forward posts along LoC)," Brigade Commander, 120 Infantry Brigade, A Sengupta told reporters in Bhimber Gali in Poonch sector along the LoC.
Brig Sengupta was replying to volley of questions about whether there were inputs of more BAT attacks along LoC in Poonch, increase in ceasefire violation and India's response.
"But we are ready for that (any Pakistani BAT attack)", the Brigade commander said.
There have been 70 ceasefire violations by the Pakistani troops this year from January one to August 5, which is 85 per cent more than the last year during the same corresponding period, Army officials said.
The fierce exchanges in recent weeks have cast a shadow on the prospect of the 2003 Indo-Pak border truce. India and Pakistan entered into the border ceasefire as a confidence building measure during NDA rule and it will complete one decade on November 26, 2013.
The ceasefire violations have been reported on daily basis for past nine days without a break, forcing Indian troops to retaliate, they said.
Six jawans were killed and five jawans were among nine persons injured in ceasefire violations and firing by Pakistan troops on forwards post, civilian areas and patrolling parties along Indo-Pak border during August this year.
"Pakistan troops have been firing on our forward posts daily for past couple of days. They are firing intensely with mortar bomb, rockets, RPG and high caliber weaponry," Brigadier Sengupta said.
They are not only directly firing on the posts but also target civilian villages along borderline, said the officer, who looks after operation command of three-tiered fence along the LoC in Bhimber Gali sector.
"Pakistan is not showing any respect to the Indo-Pak ceasefire. They are violating it daily by firing at us. Where is sanctity of this truce," he said, maintaining that Indian troops have always respected the truce despite provocations in the past.
"Not only this there is also threat of Pak BAT attacks on our posts so the troops are alert and vigilant round the clock," said Col Anai Shanker of unit deployed in the border-sector.
Sengupta said the firing from Pakistani side was aimed at helping terrorists infiltrate and demoralise the troops posted along LoC. "But the morale of our troops is very high," he said. PTI


 Ministers visit Kishtwar, appeal for maintaining communal harmony


KISHTWAR, AUG 18: To take stock of prevailing situation in Kishtwar, a ministerial team comprising Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand, Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma and Minister for Transport and CA&PD, Choudhary Ramzan, visited the town. The team had a detailed meeting with both the communities who highlighted various issues and demands seeking consideration of the Government.
The Ministers emphasized upon members of both the communities to strive hard and work for communal harmony in the region. They assured both the communities that an impartial judicial probe will be held and mischievous elements responsible for violence would be brought to book. They also assured the people that all their grievances will be looked into for redressal.
Meanwhile, the team also conducted a tour of the town to take stock of damage caused the people and their property due to recent disturbance in the area.
Regarding lack of essential commodities in certain areas especially far flung areas, the Ministers directed the officials to replenish the stock of ration and other essentials in these areas.
Referring to the issue of absence of teachers highlighted by the locals, the Deputy Chief Minister directed the District Magistrate to have random inspections in various schools and act strictly against the menace of absenteeism.
Sham Lal Sharma directed the concerned officials to ensure adequate supply of drinking water to the people and the areas where there is extreme shortage besides pressing into service the water tankers.


 Last batch to leave Nunwan today

SRINAGAR, AUG 18: While a batch of 586 pilgrims today left Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camps for the Amarnath Cave Shrine, the last batch of Amarnath pilgrims to the holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas will start from the Nunwan base camp on Monday, subject to favourable weather conditions. "Subject to fair weather conditions, the last batch of Yatris from the Pahalgam Route shall be allowed to cross the Chandanwari access control gate up to 11 AM tomorrow," P P Singh, Additional Chief Executive Officer of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, said in a statement. He said the last batch of Yatris from the shorter Baltal route shall be allowed to cross the access control gate at Domel up to 9 am on the last day of the yatra on Wednesday.
"However, the Yatris who prefer to travel by helicopters to Panjtarni shall be allowed to take heli-flights up to 9 am on August 21 from the Baltal and Pahalgam heli bases," he added.
The annual Amarnath yatra began on June 28 this year and so far over 3.50 lakh pilgrims have performed darshan of the naturally formed ice-lingam of Lord Shiva in the 3880-metre high cave shrine.
The yatra will conclude on August 21, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival.
Meanwhile a new batch of 586 pilgrims today left Baltal and Nunwan Pahalgam base camps for the Amarnath Shrine early this morning despite intermittent rains and cloudy weather.
The pilgrimage was going on smoothly on both tracks, a yatra official here said.
He said 207 pilgrims, including 41 sadhus and five women left Nunwan Pahalgam base camp early this morning for Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station on the traditional route.
He said 312 pilgrims left Baltal base camp early this morning for the cave shrine.
Similarly 67 Yatris also left in helicopters to the cave shrine today, he said.
So far more than 3.52 lakh pilgrims had paid obeisance at the cave shrine since the commencement of the annual pilgrimage from June 28.
The yatra will conclude on August 21, on Rakhshabandhan here. PTI
44 pilgrims leave for Amarnath
JAMMU: A small batch of 44 pilgrims left Jammu base camp today for Amarnath cave shrine in South Kashmir Himalayas.
The batch, comprising 15 men and 29 sadhus left from Bhagwati Nagar base camp here at around 4.40 AM towards Amarnath to pay obeisance at the holy cave shrine, police said.
The pilgrims, who left in two vehicles under tight security arrangements, are expected to reach Pahalgam and Baltal base camps in the evening, they said.
Chhari reaches Chandanwari
SRINAGAR: 'Chhari Muba-rak', the Holy Silver Mace of Lord Shiva this afternoon left for Chandanwari from base camp Pahalgam, where Puja was held on the occasion of 'Dwadashi' on the bank of the river Lidder.
Mahant Deependra Giri, custodian of Chhari, led the Puja before the yatra left for Chandanwari amid chanting of Bam Bam Boley and Vedic mantras.
After night halt at Chandanwari, the Chhari Mubarak left this afternoon on the occasion of ' Triyodeshi' for a night halt at Sheshnag (3352 mtrs).
Mahant Giri said Chhari Mubarak will leave at 0700 hrs from Sheshnag on August 20 for a night halt at Panchtarni (4114 mtrs), six km short of Holy Cave.
Next morning on August 21, the Chhari Mubarak will leave at 0400 hrs Panchtarni for Holy Cave (3952 mtrs) on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan' Shravan Purnima.
He said traditional rituals shall be performed and prayers shall be offered the whole day at Holy Cave.
However, before dusk, Chhari-Mubarak shall leave for night halt at Panchtarni.
On the occasion of 'Pratipda' on August 22, Chhari-Mubarak shall leave at 0700 hrs for night halt at Pahalgam.
On August 23 on the occasion of 'Dvitiya' 'Pujan' & 'Visarjan' ceremonies shall be performed at 1015 hrs on the bank of the river Lidder.
Thereafter, traditional 'Kari-Pakouri' Bhandara shall be organised for Sadhus. With this last ritual, annual pilgrimage of Swami Amarnath Ji shall culminate. Chhari-Mubarak shall return to its Abode at Srinagar.


 JK Govt seeks to put lid on controversy, says obeying Supreme Court order

SRINAGAR, AUG 18: Amid a controversy over its scheme to compensate victims of rape and other forms of violence against women, Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday said it was merely following Supreme Court's directions to the Centre and state governments in this regard. A spokesperson of the Home Department clarified that the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and state governments to formulate a compensation scheme for victims of violence, including cases of death, disability, rape and human trafficking.
Some political parties and editorials in a section of the press have criticised the scheme as well as the state government's decision to revise compensation under it.
Reacting to the criticism, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the compensation was not meant to be a substitute for punishment to perpetrators.
".. It's no one's case that this is a substitute for the culprit being punished. The law will follow its own course as was the case earlier," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
The state cabinet, during a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister on Friday, had approved revised and enhanced compensation for victims of violence, mainly focusing on women and children.
The Home Department spokesperson said that following the Supreme Court direction, the preparation of the compensation scheme was mandatory for each state and Union Territory, and accordingly, the state government notified its Victim Compensation Scheme on April 23.
Flogging those who were criticising the state government for the scheme, Omar said, "It never ceases to amaze me how a perfectly good initiative taken by a Government can be twisted and misrepresented to suit an editorial line."
He said the state government had only made a provision that victims of violence get compensation.
"Anyone who believes that violence doesn't exist is living in fool's paradise. So what's wrong with ensuring compensation to the victims?" he said. PTI


  Sainik Colony residents sans power supply; stage protest, block highway

Aaliya Khan
JAMMU, AUG 18: Though the offices which handle maximum public dealing in different departments of the government need to be handled by officers with not only high integrity but more than that having ample sociability, yet it is very unfortunate that some of the officers placed in offices of public dealing viz-a-viz essential services are not only sans sociability but possess nothing but arrogance to be showered on the people coming up with their woes for redressal.
This is what has come to the fore as the residents of Sector-B of Sainik Colony are faced with an awful situation with no Power Supply for the last few days which has also affected the water supply in the area. The residents of the area approached the concerned JEE who failed to provide any relief. Thereafter they called the AEE on phone, who seemed to have insulated his mobile phone to respond to the calls of the power consumers in distress. However one of the consumers was lucky enough to be able to establish contact with the said officer on mobile phone but only to be greeted with arrogance. The said consumer alongwith other consumers while talking to Greater Jammu said that the arrogant AEE was too rude in behavior to be posted at place that requires best of conduct as it involves public dealing viz a viz essential services provided to public. They rued that the insulated mobile phone of the Assistant Executive Engineer leaves no scope for the consumers to be able to put across their problems and expect respite or relief. They added that it is astonishing that there is no control room or any other way to lodge any complaint or expect any immediate "FIRST AID" in case of an emergency situation. A student namely Rinku told Greater Jammu that he has not been able to do any justice with his studies as there is no electricity in the area as a result of which the students especially who are at a crucial stage are the worst affected.
Hapless residents were left with no other alternative; today in large numbers staged a protest against the department and high handedness and arrogance of the incharge officials. The protestors blocked the national highway at Sainik Colony disrupting the traffic to highlight their woes. However the situation was intelligently handled by the local cops who pacified the protesting residents. The residents of the Colony said that there is no proper office of PDD in the Colony adding that a few staffers have taken two shops on rent to run the office which mostly remains closed.
Similar situation was faced by the residents of Sector-E of Sainik Colony with the transformer going out of order before Eid festival and the same not replaced in time making the residents struggle in this rough weather as the absence of power has also lead to failure of drinking water supply. It was removed and sent for repairs without any notice to the metered consumers who had to bear the brunt of official apathy and remained without electricity for the fourth consecutive day today. They too were showered by the concerned AEE and other officials of the PDD. Finally it was the MOS PDD Vikar Rasool who intervened on the auspicious day of Eid when the residents managed to contact him on phone and requested for "Eidi" (A token gift given on Eid festival). Thereafter power was restored in E-Sector on the festival of Eid.
It is high time that the government ensures that officers posted at general public dealing offices be those possessing highest degree of sobriety and in fact the officers should be made to undergo special training in this regard so that at least their attitude provides some solace to the people in distress.
Does PDD take due care of the following requisites…?
1. The PDD should have 5% transformers in reserve to immediately replace any damaged transformer.
2. There should be proper monitoring and maintenance of the installed transformers including oiling at least annually.
3. One transformer should cater to not more than 50 dwelling units.
4. There should be a proper fuse system on installed supply transformers.
5. There should be no shoddy transmission and supply lines so as to reduce the chances of any short circuits resulting in damage to the transformers.


Bhalla reviews ongoing projects under JMC, JDA, UEED, HD

JAMMU, AUG 18: Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture, Raman Bhalla today chaired a high level meeting of officers of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), Jammu Development Authority (JDA), Housing Department (HD) and Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) to review progress on ongoing projects in the city of temples.
Commissioner/Secretary Housing and Urban Development Department Jeet Lal Gupta, Vice-Chairman, JDA, Satesh Nehru, Commissioner JMC, K L Khajuria, Managing Director HD, Kiran Wattal, Secretary HD, Rampaul Sharma besides other senior officers from JMC, JDA, HD, UEED and Town drainage attended the meeting.
Addressing the meeting, Bhalla asked the Vice Chairman JDA to visit the warehouse and inspect the dilapidated condition of the shops so that need based renovation could be started at the earliest.
The Minister asked the concerned authorities to call tenders for development of recreational park. He said Government is committed to develop all the open spaces on modern lines by creating walkways and recreational parks there.
Regarding modernisation of parking space near Radio Station, Bhalla asked the JMC to immediately start the project and develop the place with modern facilities like illumination, seating, drinking water besides toilet facilities.
Referring to measures being taken up to create better lanes and drains in slum basties, the Minister informed Government has released R 11 crore for this purpose. He asked the Commissioner JMC to further intensify sanitation drive in slum basties to ensure a healthy and hygienic environment. In this regard, he asked the officers to call the tenders so that the works could be started. He directed them to immediately start the construction work of cremation ground and waiting shed at Sidhra.
Bhalla directed the concerned to start mecademisation work on Trikuta Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Nai Basti and Channi Himmat roads including internal links immediately after the rainy season. He also asked to prepare estimates for construction and renovation of washed away damaged culverts of Trikuta Nagar, Nanak Nagar and Sanjay Nagar and submit the same for funding. He said Government has released R 1.50 crore for speedy modernisation of nallahs in Bathindi, Sunjwan, Channi Himmat and its adjoining areas.
The Minister asked the JMC Commissioner to install street lights in the uncovered areas of city of temples to help keep a proper vigil over untoward incidents. He said devotees of Peerbaba at Satwari and Maha Kali temple at Bahu fort are facing lot of hardships due to lack of proper functioning of street lights in the area. He directed to depute a team of electricians for repair of lights in the area.
Regarding maintenance of Housing Department assets like flats, shops, gardens besides roads and drains in developed housing colonies, Bhalla asked the Managing Director Housing, Kiran Wattal to make regular survey and prepare estimates for modernisation of these services.


Omar blaming centre for concealing failure: JSM

JAMMU, AUG 18: In a meeting of Jammu State Morcha, presided over by its President, Prof. Virender Gupta, the members of JSM strongly condemned the vehement criticism by Omar Abdullah of the National leaders of the country charging them of showing duplicity in their approach towards issue like Kishtwar. Omar blamed the national leadership for having biased approach while dealing with Kishtwar like matters differently in Jammu and Kashmir state and said that this has lead to the isolation of Kashmiri people and dragged them away from the national main stream.
The JSM members said, "Omar Abdullah, in fact is trying to hide his own failure in controlling the situation. He did not involve army in controlling the miscreants and anti-national forces at appropriate time and thus gave them a free hand to go on rampage, burning and looting shops and houses, buses, vehicles and assaulting the residents".
The JSM members expressed the opinion that what Omar Abdullah is saying is quite contrary to the facts and his statement has come out of frustration as he is losing ground among the people and has a fear psychosis of losing the chair of chief minister in the coming State Assembly elections and getting defeat in Lok Sabha elections too.
The fact of the matter is that Kashmiri leaders have always pursued communal and regional politics and tried to divide the people of the state. They always discriminated against Jammu and Ladakh regions in all the matters and treated the people of these regions as their subservient or second class citizens. The result is the wide ranging divide among the people of all the three regions of the state. There is a complete alienation of people of Jammu and Ladakh regions from that of the people of the Valley as such the demand of trifurcation of the state getting strengthened day by day. Jammu State Morcha holds a firm view that in the present political scenario, the trifurcation of the state is the only way out to ease out the conflicts and provide justice and equal development opportunities to the people of all the regions.
JSM reiterates its demand for providing adequate compensation to the families of the deceased, those injured, whose houses are burnt and destroyed and to those who lost their sources of livelihood as per the loss suffered with a minimum limit of 20 lakh to each business man.
JSM warns that any attempt to abolish Village Defense Committees or weaken them shall be suicidal for the security in the far flung areas. The need of the hour is to strengthen these committees by inducting more trust worthy people in these and by making them well equipped by providing latest weapons.


EP Tenants' Welfare Society expels member for anti-society activities

JAMMU, AUG 18: EP Tenants' Welfare Society's Patron. Prof. Bhim Singh after thorough deliberations with the elected and other office-bearers of the society hereby expelled Suraj Prakash Sharma from EPTWSR with immediate effect for anti-society activities.
"We have been getting feedback from respective sources that Suraj Prakash Sharma had been working against the society and the interests of the tenants for quite sometime. We inform one and all that anyone having ties with Suraj Prakash Sharma shall be doing so at his/her own risk and responsibility", statement of Society stated.
The statement further said that earlier also EPTWSR expelled Rattan Lal (former treasurer), former president, Banarsi Dass and Nazir Ahmed from the basic membership of the society for their anti-society activities.
All tenants are hereby advised to remain cautious against these self styled leaders (touts) who are trying to misguide the tenants and are playing in the hands of Custodian Department and are bent upon to sabotage the ongoing movement of the society.
Prof. Bhim Singh informed the members that whosoever is working against the society and the interests of the tenants shall not be tolerated at any cost.
"EP Tenants' Welfare Society under the elected President, Inder Mohinder Tar Singh has done tremendous job and put in sincere efforts to fight for the rights of tenants and redressal of their grievances. We wish to achieve ownership rights for the houses and land which is being maintained by the tenants. This is our prime objective", said Bhim Singh.


Slathia inaugurates Apna Panchayat Ghar

JAMMU, AUG 18: MLA, Vijaypur and former Minister, S. S. Slathia today inaugurated newly constructed Apna Panchayat Ghar at Salmeri in Vijaypur constituency which has been constructed at the cost of R 25 lakh by Rural Development Department.
Addressing the gathering, Slathia said that Coalition Government headed by Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah was committed to provide all basic amenities in remote and far-off pockets like road connectivity, power and water supply, medicare, education, etc. He said that efforts are being made to make implementation of development and welfare schemes more effective and result oriented during the current year.
Spelling out achievements of the government in different fields, the MLA said that the Jammu and Kashmir state has witnessed tremendous development during the last four years and several other projects are in the pipeline. He also gave credit to the people who always supported the government in its endeavours to take the state towards new dimensions of progress and prosperity.
Slathia appealed to the people to play their role in maintaining age old tradition of brotherhood and communal harmony. He cautioned the people against the unscrupulous elements adding that they have no agenda to present before the people and are resorting to politics of deceit and lie.


NC for special package to flood affected populace

JAMMU, AUG 18: Expressing concern over the damages caused due to flash floods in the wake of recent rains in Jammu region, National Conference on Sunday urged the government to sanction special package and immediate interim relief in favour of the sufferers.
At a high level meeting of National Conference functionaries here this evening chaired by Devender Singh Rana, Provincial President called for immediate restoration of various protection bandhs, road network and other public utility services that have suffered damages due to water logging and flash floods, besides shifting such of the families to government buildings whose houses have been damaged.
Those who were present in the meeting included senior Vice President, Surjeet Singh Slathia, Vice President, Mushtaq Ahmad Bukhari, Central Secretary, Rachpal Singh, Ex-MP, Mirza Abdul Rashid, Ex-legislators, Sheikh Bashir Ahmad, Babu Ram Pal, Brij Mohan Sharma, Th. Kashmir Singh, Pt. Govind Ram Sharma, Satpal Lakhotra besides senior party leaders Jugal Mahajan, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, and Rajesh Bakshi.
The meeting took a detailed appraisal of the damages caused in District Samba, Poonch, Rajouri, Kathua, Jammu and other pockets of the region and stressed upon the need for providing special package and immediate interim relief to the sufferers.
The Provincial President urged the administration for carrying out urgent survey to assess the losses so that those suffered could be compensated. He also stressed upon the need for immediate restoration of various utility services like electricity and drinking water.
Speaking on the occasion, the National Conference leaders sought round the clock functioning of the essential departments and close monitoring of water level in various rivers and Nallahs so that necessary preventive and rescue measures are undertaken in the event of eventualities. They appreciated the establishment of control rooms by various departments and called for gearing up the field agencies for maintaining close rapport with the people in vulnerable areas.
They also exhorted upon the officers of the divisional and district administration to be prompt and extra vigilant towards their services to deal with the situation arisen due to heavy rains and flash floods in the region effectively.
The Provincial President exuded confidence that visits of ministers and top ranking officials in the flood affected areas will ensure better coordination between various departments and help in mitigating the problems confronted by the people. He stressed upon the need for dewatering the water logged areas and covering these by disinfectants for the overall health and hygiene. He also sought the survey and assessment of crop damages so that the farming community is adequately compensated.


Abolition of VDCs will lead to mass exodus of minorities: Pavitar Singh

JAMMU, AUG 18: Jammu Province People's Forum (JPPF) today strongly condemned the demand of separatists and anti- national elements to wind up the Village Defence Committees (VDCs).
Addressing a Press Conference, President, JPPF, Pavitar Singh warned the secessionist forces to restrain from adding fuel to the fire at a time when the Jammu Province is already facing the brunt of communal riots in Kishtwar.
He said that the minority community is sitting at the verge of mass exodus from Kishtwar and other adjoining areas who feel isolated there adding that it is the strength of VDCs in the villages and small pockets that the minority has managed to stay.
Singh asked the administration to think hundred times before disbanding VDCs adding that the JPPF will fight tooth and nail against the nefarious design of separatists which is governing the administration not only in Kashmir but is also extending themselves to Jammu as well. "Abolition of VDCs or any attempt to weaken their existence will lead to mass exodus of minority community from Kishtwar / Bhaderwah once they feel insecure. Reports already implied that the JKP deployed in these minority dominated areas is not performing its duties satisfactorily rather it is terrorizing the poor minority community having a biased approach" he added.


NDS organizes 'Kavi Goshti'

JAMMU, AUG 18: Nami Dogri Sanstha (NDS), the Art Foundation today organised a Kavi Goshti at Sewa Bharti which was presided over by Dr Sheryansh Kumar Jain. Renowned theatre artist, Mahesh Chander Sharma was the Chief Guest on the occasion while Chanchal Sharma, Organizing Secretary was the guest of honour.
Speaking on the occasion, Jain appreciated the activities of the NDS besides enthusiasm shown by its activists for organizing programmes to promote Dogri culture and language.
Chanchal Sharma in his address appreciated the role of NDS for promoting the Art, Culture and Languages whereas renowned theater artist, Mahesh Sharma said that Nami Dogri Sanstha is making endeavour in promoting Dogri language and folklore of the Duggar Pradesh.


Sharma demands relief for flood victims

JAMMU, AUG 18: Former legislator and senior Congress leader, Ashok Sharma today informed that about 10 houses are likely to submerge in water at Kalikassi-Treru on Moghla Khawas road in Kalakote constituency, which may endanger human life besides moveable and immovable properties. Sharma further said that he informed SSP, Rajouri about the natural calamity and accordingly, the police was deputed on spot. But there is need of tents (shelter) for the evacuated families and the deployment of more manpower to ensure restriction on entry from all sides, around the affected area. Sharma urged upon the Chief Minister to provide cash relief and food grains besides compensation against the loss of houses and properties in favour of the victims.

CPI demands immediate completion of 'Land Bandobast'

R S PURA, AUG 18: A meeting of the farmers of R S Pura was held here today under the leadership of Rakesh Sharma, Senior leader Communist Party of India (CPI), to express concern over the inordinate delay in completing Land Bandobast (Settlement) at R S Pura. Speaking during the meeting, Sharma said that the process of Land Bandobast started in 1992 and till date only 60% of Bandobast work in R S Pura has been completed while the remaining 40% work is still incomplete. Sharma demanded that the sanctioned strength of Patwaris in R S Pura should be restored at the earliest so that the process can be completed without any further delay. Sharma demanded proper offices of Patwaris (Patwar-Khanas) so that the revenue records can be kept and maintained in proper order. Others present on the occasion included, Romesh Choudhary, Chander Bhushan, Chuni Lai and Raj Pal.


3 CDs of Maa Chandi bhajans released

JAMMU, AUG 18: Two Video Compact Disks and an MP3 Disk conceptualized by Maa Chandi Parivaar were released by Savita Bakshi, Additional Secretary, JKAACL at K L Sehgal Hall, Abhinav Theatre, here today. Chander Shekhar, Cartoonist of national repute and Surinder Sharma, Anchor, JK Channel attended the function as special guests.
The VCDs including 'Chandi Maiya Naal Nachdi' by Sushma Rajput, and 'Jyotaan Jaagdiyaan' by Suresh Chowhan and Arvind, and MP3, 'Jyotaan Jaagdiyaan' by Suresh Chowhan, Manmohan Sharma and Suman Rana featuring melodious devotional songs in praise of Mata Chandi are expected to be an instant hit among devotees of Mata Chandi. The CDs have been recorded at SSS Recording Studio, Jammu. The music of all the three CDs has been composed by Arvind Kumar.
On the occasion, Sushma Rajput, Suresh Chowhan and Arvind Kumar enthralled the audience by their live performance.


"Run for Peace" organized at Mahore

MAHORE, AUG 18: The Rashtriya Rifles Battalion based at Bagga, under the aegis of Counter Insurgency Force (Uniform) organised a 'Run for Peace' (Mini Marathon) for the youth of Mahore, Samote and Gul Tehsil, here today. The mini marathon was organized as part of the ongoing Operation Sadbhavna in continuation of the efforts of the Army, to actively promote sports among the youth of the region and to provide them with a recreational activity in order to channelize and harness their energy, in a constructive manner.
The mini-marathon was conducted from Mahore to Bagga, involving a distance of 10 Km in hilly terrain, which saw a healthy participation by as many as 79 runners.
The youth participated with great enthusiasm, and were seen warming up in earnest before commencement of the event.
It was creditable that all the participants finished the run with competitive timings.
Shabir Ahmed S/o Qamer Din resident of village Badder, Tehsil Mahore clinched the top position by finishing the race in 32 minutes, 7 seconds in above 18 years category and Beapan Singh S/o Nanak Chand resident of village Sarh, clinched the top position by clocking 33 minutes, 10 seconds in below 18 years category.
The event culminated with the distribution of cash prizes and participation certificates as well as various complimentary prizes to the participants by senior Army officials and A K Khajuria, SDM Mahore.
The villagers of the area expressed their gratitude towards the Army for initiating such sports activities for the welfare of the youth of the area.


Shabir condoles demise of Dr. Jalal

SRINAGAR, AUG 18: Minister of State for Health, Shabir Ahmad Khan has expressed deep sorrow and grief over the demise of Dr. Jalal. The Minister remembered the qualities of Dr. Jalal, saying that Dr. Jalal's death is a great loss to the society in general and to the Medical fraternity in particular. He said that the death of Dr. Jalal has created a void in the medical field, as he was an expert cardiologist. "Dr. Jalal was a noble human, qualified doctor and an able administrator,” adding that it was due to his efforts that SKIMS succeeded “in providing the latest medicare to the patients." In his condolence message, the Minister expressed solidarity and sympathy with the bereaved family. He also prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.


Army organizes Motivational tour

RAMBAN, AUG 18: An Educational-cum-Motivational tour named 'Sair-E-Watan' for the students hailing from various schools from Nachlana, Khari, Trenna, Kumla, Buzla, Mohu and Mangat areas of Ramban district was flagged off by the Commander Sector Rashtriya Rifles, from Chanderkot, today.
The tour comprising 23 students and two teachers has been organised by the Rashtriya Rifles Battalion, under the aegis of Counter Insurgency Force (Delta), for a duration of ten days, as part of the ongoing 'Op Sadbhavana'.
The aim of the tour is, to showcase the development of the country to the youth from remote and far flung areas, as also to provide them with an opportunity to visit important places of interest and to interact with the people of those regions and also eminent personalities, thereby widening their horizon.
During the tour, the students will get an opportunity to visit Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Nehru Planetarium, Qutub Minar, Akshardham, Lotus Temple, St Stephen's College, Kirorimal College and Jamia Milia Islamia University.
The participants will also experience a ride in Delhi Metro at New Delhi and Khwaja Khizar Tomb, Tilyar Lake in Sonipat and Rohtak.
During the tour, the participants would also get an opportunity to interact with Vice Chief of Army Staff at Delhi. Besides these, the students will also experience the life of a student at Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai (Sonipat) and undergo sports coaching in various sports like Cricket, Swimming, Basketball, Football and Volleyball.
This tour will enable the youth to spread the message of peace and communal harmony and also witness the rapid development being made in the field of Information Technology, Education, Infrastructure, Medical Science and other sectors, in different parts of the country.


Postal Department offering special services on Raksha Bandhan: John

JAMMMU, AUG 18: The Department of Postal Services has made elaborate arrangements for booking and delivery of Rakhis and Rakhi gifts through network of post offices in Jammu and Kashmir. This was stated by John Samuel, Chief Post Master General, Jammu and Kashmir.
Post offices are selling a range of Rakhi envelopes, which are made up of water-resistant and tear-resistant materials. Each envelope is being sold for R 7 and this has become very popular among the customers.
Further, for the first time in the State, Rakhis are also being sold under Retail Post at Gandhi Nagar, Post office in Jammu. This provides convenience to the people, for buying and selling the Rakhis through the Post office simultaneously. This is a new initiative taken by Jammu and Kashmir Postal circle, added John Samuel, during a Press Conference.
John said "Raksha Bandhan is one of the most popular festivals of India. Raksha Bandhan is the festival to express the immaculate love between brothers and sisters, so as a special case, Rakhi speed-post consignments will be delivered through special vehicles, until late evening so that they reach their destinations within time," added John.
The Post offices are making special arrangements for delivery of Rakhis and Rakhi gifts during this festival time. Customers may book the Rakhis through Speed Post for faster and on-time delivery, he maintained.


Mir for conservation of scenic beauty, natural resources

SRINAGAR, AUG 18: Highlighting the significance of Tourism and Education sectors for the overall development and prosperity of the State, Minister for Tourism, Ghulam Ahmad Mir said that nature has bestowed the State with the enormous beauty of tourist destinations and paramount natural resources, saying that it is the responsibility of one and all to contribute for their conservation and sustenance. He said that tourism has a pivotal role in the economic development of the State and peace is prerequisite for it.
The Minister was addressing a function organized to launch Hattrick Public School and pre-launch ceremony of Hattrick Resort at SKICC here today.
Legislators, Nasir Aslam Wani and Shamima Firdous were also present on the occasion.
The Minister underscored the need of quality education, saying that the teachers should work with passion for imparting quality education and must inculcate moral and spiritual values among the students. He said that the students also have to acquaint with the modern trends and methods of education so that they can compete at national and international levels and make contributions for Nation building.
Referring to Tourism sector, Mir said that the Government has taken various initiatives for providing support and assistance to the investors through a single window system in the tourism sector and urged upon the venture capitalists to invest in the tourism sector so that socio-economic conditions of the people can be raised, besides generation of employment avenues. He further said that the Chief Minister is keen for creation and up-gradation of tourism infrastructure for provision of better facilities to the tourists visiting the State.
Highlighting the role of entrepreneurs for generating employment avenues, Mir appreciated the efforts of Choudhary Group of Hattrick for extending various services to the people and urged upon the group to provide better services to the community at all levels and become the source of inspiration for others who want to invest in private sector.
Among others, Commissioner Secretary, Agriculture, Dr. Asgar Samoon, Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Vinod Ranjan, ADGP, Armed, S.M Sahai, IGP Traffic, Munir Ahmad Khan, Commissioner Commercial Taxes, staff and members of the Advisory Board of Hattrick Public School were present on the occasion.


Natrang stages hindi play 'Zameen ka Sawal'

JAMMU, AUG 18: 'Zameen Ka Sawal', a play in hindi was staged here today at Natrang Studio Theatre in its weekly theatre series, Sunday Theatre. The play has been written by Partap Sehgal and directed by Neeraj Kant. The play was a hard hitting satire on the pitiable scenario of the whole country where corruption and nepotism have chocked the real talent and resultantly, it succumbs to the vicious game.
The play opens in a trial room where a high level committee is enquiring about a very grim incident where five people at different locations were killed by sending letter-bombs. 'Ranganathan' a very senior scientist is accused of the crime as all the evidences are against him. Initially he does not admit the crime but when given a false news that his only son was also killed in the same manner, he brokes down and with a deep agony in the heart, admits his crime which he had committed to take revenge from all those who were responsible for hurdles in his growth and promotion.
Despite being the most talented and deserving scientist, he was denied a due promotion as it was granted to someone else who was close to the Minister. This renders a harsh frustration in his mind and he asserts that only hard work and ability will take you nowhere in this system, where corruption and favoritism are deep-rooted.
The play very brilliantly says that those who do not have approach and recommendation may not be given higher positions but it does not mean that they are not talented enough. The artists of Natrang who performed in the play included, Uplaksh Singh Kotwal, Ashwani Bali, Sushil Raina, Sachin Saini, Shekhar Sharma and Pankaj Verma. Lights were designed and operated by Sumeet Sharma, who also coordinated the show.


Shehnaz visits Budha Amarnath, reviews arrangements

POONCH, AUG 18: Dr Shehnaz Ganai, MLC today visited Budha Amarmath at Mandi to oversee the arrangements for the Yatris. She also interacted with the Yatris and asked about the various problems being faced by them during the Yatra.
Shenaz also interacted with the organizing committee of the Yatra at Mandi. She visited the Yatri Niwas complex, where the Yatris are putting up.
Speaking on the occasion, she appreciated the efforts of the local people for providing logistic support to the Yatris and the organizing committee for making Yatra successful.
Shenaz also lauded the people of Mandi and Poonch for exhibiting and maintaining Communal Harmony and brother hood in the region.
Later, Shenaz alongwith the Yatra officer visited langars and Medical camp established by the Health Department. She directed the concerned Departments to ensure uninterrupted water and power during the Yatra days.
On her visit, Shenaz was felicitated by the Mandir and Yatra organizing committee.


Urs of Syed Mohammad Anwar Bukhari celebrated

SRINAGAR, AUG 18: Urs of Syed Mohammad Anwar Bukhari was celebrated in his native village, Anwarabad, Soibagh, here today. A trust namely Islamia Educational Trust is being run by his son Mushtaq Ahmad Bukhari which is running 50 schools across the valley and imparting quality education to the poor and needy people. Thousands of devotees across the valley attended the Urs of Syed Anwar. Renowned religious scholars including Moulvi Abdul Rashid, Moulvi Hafiz-Ullah, Moulvi Bashir Ahmad and Moulvi Irshad Khanyari delivered religious sermons on the occasion. Besides, listening to the sermons, the devotees also participated in recital of holy Quran and offered special prayers in the daylong event.


Kupwara Terriers organizes 'Watan Ki Sair'

KUPWARA, AUG 18: Kupwara Terriers, once again organized another 'Watan Ki Sair' for Kupwara youth and teachers from Kupwara to Srinagar, Jammu, Jabalpur, Pachmarhi, Agra, Delhi. The tour was flagged off by the CEO, Kupwara and Deputy CEO, Kupwara alongwith eminent civilian personalities which included Sarpanchs, Principals and teachers of the related school of Kupwara region. In a rare initiative by Kupwara Terriers, amongst the flag-off personalities Abdul Rashid Bhat father of Haroon Rashid of village Poshpura, who had topped in CET of the State was also invited, for motivating students, teachers and locals present on the occasion. Approximate 200 villagers, parents/guardians of participants, personalities from the Government Offices and Sarpanchs of the villages falling in 'Hajipir Brigade Area of Responsibility' were present on the occasion. The Sadbhavana tour organised under the aegis of VAJR DIVISION, has been planned to provide participants an opportunity to gain insight into important Education/ Management Institutes, progressive Institution/ Industries besides places of interest like Dhuandhar Falls, Tilwara Ghat, Rani Durgawati Museum and Chausat Yogini Temple in Jabalpur, Pandava Caves, Wild Life Sanctuary, Satpura Tiger Reserve and Jata Shaukar Cave Temple in Pachmarhi, Taj Mahal and Red Fort in Agra, Red Fort, Jama Majid, Chandani Chowk, Qutab Minar, Lotus Temple, India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. The event also encompasses interaction of these remote areas students with school children / teachers and senior Army officers at all visiting places. The students and teachers, stepping out of valley for the first time in their lives are extremely enthusiastic and eagerly looking forward to this new experience.


Bhalla reviews arrangements for Shree Ganesh Utsav Yagya

JAMMU, AUG 18: Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture, Raman Bhalla, today reviewed the arrangements for 11-day long Shree Ganesh Utsav celebrations, which will commence from September, 9 at Parade ground.
During the celebrations, a Yagya will also be performed, which will continue upto September, 18.
Chairman Bharatiya Vedic Sansthan, Acharya Sanjay Shastri informed that all the necessary arrangements for the celebration have been put in place including 'Ganesh Murti'. The Murti will be brought to Parade Ground on September, 11 for its Sathapana followed by various programmes like Ganesh Puran Katha by Swami Shree Shree 1008 Vedant Achariya Swami Ashra Nand Giri Maharaj (Hardwar Waley), Bhajans, Kirtans and reciting of vedic mantras.
While addressing the gathering, Acharya said that the Sansthan would continue holding such religious events with same gaiety and enthusiasm in Jammu. He appealed to the devotees and general public to ensure their maximum participation in Shree Ganesh Utsav.


Dr Jalals’ demise widely mourned, thousands join burial

PAMPORE, AUG 18: The leading cardiologist of the State and former Director SKIMS, Dr Sheikh Jalal-ud-din was buried in his ancestral graveyard in Pampore today.
A large army of well wishers, close family members, friends, politicians, alongwith prominent citizens of Kashmir attended the last journey of common man's doctor soon after his dead body arrived in Srinagar from New Delhi.
Dr Jalal-ud-din had passed away on Saturday in AIIMS. He was injured in an attack by unidentified gunmen last month.
Grand Mufti of Kashmir, Bashir-ud-Din; General Secretary of Congress, Ghulam Nabi Mir Lasjan; prominent doctors, politicians, and people from all walks of life including his patients joined the burial procession which started from his residence in Tulsibagh area of Srinagar. Dr Jalal was buried at his ancestral graveyard in Pampore, where last rites were performed by the close family members in the presence of thousands of well wishers and prayers were offered. Ever since people in Kashmir came to know about the sad demise of their favorite doctor, they went into mourning and were waiting to catch a last glimpse of their caretaker. The members of the local Auqaf committee had made all the arrangements on the occasion. Meanwhile, Provincial President of National Conference, Nasir Aslam Wani and Political Secretary to Chief Minister, Tanvir Sadiq have expressed grief and sorrow over the demise of the renowned cardiologist. Extending sympathies with the bereaved family, they prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.


Manohar distributes relief among rain victims

KATHUA, AUG 18: Minister of State for Fisheries, Cooperatives, Finance and Planning, Dr Manohar Lal Sharma distributed tents and ration among the rain affected families here at Mandli of tehsil Billawar today.
SDM Billawar, Dr Vikas Gupta, SDPO Basohli, Rafiq Manhas, Tehsildar Billawar, Naib Tehsildar and staff of the Revenue Department were present on the occasion.
Dr Sharma distributed 110 tents, 100 bags (of 50 kg) of rice among the families whose dwellings have been damaged partially or completely in recent incessant rains. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Manohar informed that Jammu division has witnessed incessant rain during last week causing heavy damages to the houses of the people, especially in hilly areas. He said that the Government has immediately mobilized the administrative machinery to assess the damages caused due to heavy rains in all the districts of Jammu division. He added that over 500 cases of house collapse (partial and fully) have been reported in District Kathua and efforts are on to give preliminary relief to the affected families.
He directed the revenue officials to immediately complete the process of assessing the damages of the affected families so that appropriate relief can be sanctioned in favour of the aggrieved families. He assured the people that the Government will provide every possible help to the rain and flood affected families.


Gul visits flood affected areas

SRINAGAR, AUG 18: The Speaker, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly Mubarak Gul today visited various flood affected areas including Safakadal and Khankisukta in Eidgah Constituency and took stock of situation arisen due to rapid increase in the water level of River Jhelum.
A team of senior officers of District administration including District Development Commissioner (DDC), Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Shah accompanied the Speaker during the tour. During the visit to Khankisakta, the people of the area met the Speaker and apprised him about the damages caused due to raised water level of river Jhelum to their properties and Masjid Sharief, in the area.
The Speaker gave them a patient hearing and directed the DDC, Srinagar to send a team of officers to assess the losses caused to the property so that necessary financial assistance can be sanctioned in favour of the affected families.
He also assured the affected families that every possible help will be provided from the Government for their early rehabilitation.


Spalbar for maintaining discipline, punctuality in education sector

LEH, AUG 18: Though quality of education and results at matriculation level has been drastically improved in the Government schools but supervision is still lacking at management level and this is the reason behind poor educational edifice in Leh District. This was stated by CEC, LAHDC, Rigzin Spalbar during his visit to High School Thiksay, Middle School Yarlok Chushot and High School Chushot Gongma.
Spalbar directed the Headmasters to maintain daily attendance registers and close them latest by 10.10am in the morning and 3.55 pm in the evening saying that it will surely bring more discipline, punctuality and accountability among the staff.
Taking strong exception of the fact that CEO, Deputy CEO, ZEO, and ZEPO seldom visit these schools, he said that this indifferent attitude of these officials is a big lapse and is certainly affecting the efficiency of the department.
On the issue of staff indulged in playing truancy, he directed the officiating heads to kindly ensure that no one can take undue benefit keeping at stake the future of students.
In general, CEC expressed satisfaction over the improving performance of the teaching staff at all the places however he felt the need to streamline the supervision and monitoring system at higher level.
At Block headquarter Kharu, Spalbar inspected the BDO office and took detailed stock of the functioning of Rural Development Department. He was informed that 2 Junior Engineers have left the station without permission since long time. Taking a serious note over the apathetic approach of these engineers, he asked the Deputy Commissioner, Leh to initiate an inquiry against these two JEs. The CEC reiterated that LAHDC in view of short working period in Leh has already issued strict orders not to allow any engineer, HOD or technical staff to leave the station.
At Kharu, CEC also inspected the offices of Sheep Husbandry Department, Education Department and ICDS. Earlier, Rigzin Spalbar alongwith a team of officers and engineers visited the Hemis Monastery to examine the preparation and arrangements in view of 5th Annual Drukpa Council (ADC) to be held in the beginning of next month. Manager, Hemis Monastery, Gelong Otsal sought Council's help for improving roads, DG set for power backup, leveling of parking, installation of dustbins, adequate water supply, medical services, ration supply, public address system and public conveniences. Responding to demands, the CEC assured that LAHDC will ensure all these facilities well in time.
On the occasion, Thuksey Rinpochey highlighted the significance of holding Annual Drukpa Council.


Be aggressive but decent, Jaitley tells BJP spokespersons

NEW DELHI, AUG 18: Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley has advised BJP spokespersons to be aggressive but maintain decency and decorum while countering the opposition during television debates and press interactions. He also advised them to avoid giving a TV byte or press reaction if they are not fully prepared or do not know the party line on the issue.
Jaitley was addressing a national media workshop organized by the party for its spokespersons, media panelists and media cells.
The work shop was moderated by BJP National Media Cell Incharge, Shrikant Sharma and attended by the party's leading national spokespersons and authorized national TV panelists including Prakash Javadekar, Shah Nawaz Hussain, Nirmala Sitharaman, Meenakshi Lekhi, Dr Sudhanshu Trivedi, Captain Abhimanyu, Vijay Sonkar Shastri, Balbir Punj, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Nalin Kohli and Pinky Anand.
In his address, Jaitley expressed satisfaction at the manner in which the Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons had tackled Congress charges against Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi after his Independence Day speech.
Jaitley said Union Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad had used derogatory words against Modi which should be countered strongly but decently.
The BJP has also demanded that Azad should take back his words immediately and also tender an apology for his remarks. Jaitley said there is a need to take on the Congress in a more aggressive fashion. He asked the spokespersons to be better prepared to sound more convincing.
He underlined the need for setting the agenda in the media and public debates and not to follow the one set by the Congress.


Holy mace leaves for Paddar

BHADERWAH AUG 18: Historical Machail Yatra today continued its onward journey from Chandi Mata temple, Chinote, Bhaderwah to Paddar. A large number of devotees from various Districts of the state accompanied the Yatra.
The Yatra today commenced from Chinote Temple for Paddar, Kishtwar where it will stay for a night and will leave for Gulab Garh, tomorrow. On August 20, the Yatra will leave for Masoo and on August 21 the devotees will reach Chaosti and finally on August 22, the Yatra will reach at Machail Temple of Mata Chandi. Next day after the Havan and Poojan, the holy mace (Charri) will be brought back to Bhaderwah.
Yesterday night about 125 vehicles reached at Chinote Temple to proceed towards Paddar in Kishtwar. At Pul Doda more vehicles from Jammu, Udhampur, Kathua and other parts joined the Yatra and number was increased to about 300. Chief organizer of the Sarv Shakti Shri Chandi Mata Ji Temple Chinote, Bhaderwah, Thakur Kulbir Singh Jamwal thanked the administration especially the SDM, Bhaderwah, Dr. Ravi Kumar Bharti, ASP, Bhaderwah, Roop Raj Bhagat and SDPO, Jameel Ahmed for their co-operation with the Sanstha. He appreciated the role of local administration for maintaining law and order.
It is pertinent to mention here that Paddar is known for the Machail Yatra of Goddess Chandi. Maa Chandi resides in the remotest corner of Paddar at an altitude of around 9500ft above sea level. It is a trek distance of around 30 km on foot from the Gulabgarh village. This is the last village connected by road. Every year thousands of devotees pay visit to the holy Shrine with undeterred faith to receive the blessings of Mata Machail Waali. The number of pilgrims with each passing year has been increasing manifolds. According to locals, Maa appeared in the form of Pindi. She came here from Mindal Bhattas, a small village in Himachal Pradesh to bless the people of Paddar. The yatra was initially started by Thakur Kulbir Singh of Bhaderwah who was serving in J&K Police department and was posted in Machail. The yatra with holy mace starts from Chinote (Bhaderwah) during the month of August with a lot of zeal and fervour amidst the chants of Maa Chandi bhajans. Devotees from Jammu start their journey from the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir (Pacca Danga) after taking the obeisance and join the yatra at Bhaderwah from where it takes off for Kishtwar and then to Atholi in Paddar. The holy mace is welcomed enroute by thousands of devotees at various villages with them offering free Langars at Gulabgarh, Massu, Kundhail, Chishoti, Hamori and Machail. The yatra has laid tremendous impact on the socio economic conditions of the people. The locals get to showcase their scantily available food crops like Bajar Bhang, Phulan, and Sivil which are used during fasting and the sale of these items boosts local economy.


Training programme for polling officials concludes

KARGIL, AUG 18: The 3-day training programme for the officers and officials to be deputed for election duty of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil, scheduled to be held on August 22, concluded here today.
During the training period, the presiding officers and polling officers were imparted training about their duties and responsibilities.
Deputy Commissioner, Kargil, Fida Hussain, who is also election authority for LAHDC, Kargil was also present on the concluding day of training programme. He instructed the polling officials for doing their duties conscientiously and fairly ensuring transparent and fair elections. Among others, Assistant Commissioner, Revenue and senior officers were also present on the occasion.


Congress congratulates Azad for being best Health Minister since 1947

JAMMU, AUG 18: Congress today congratulated Union Health Minster and former Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad who has been voted as the most popular and best Health Minister the country since 1947.
In a joint statement, senior Congress leader and MLA, Inderwal, G M Saroori, General Secretary, Thakur Jughal Bhandari, Block Presidents, Mohd Iqbal Keen, Ghulam Qadir Sheikh, Asgar Khangi, Mohd Iqbal Teli, and Chowdhary Rafiq, Secretaries and Sarpanchs, Mushtaq Ahmed Hap, Ravi Shan, Noor Hussain, Mahinder Singh Parihar, Tariq Wani, Akhtar Tatani, Sarfraz Khan, Gh Qadir Tappal congratulated Azad for his achievement.
The Congress leaders said this information came forth during a survey conducted by Zee TV channel on the popularity of present Ministers in the UPA led Government in their respective areas. The survey was aimed to bring forth a 'dream Cabinet' based on popularity of leaders among the masses and Ghulam Nabi Azad has been ranked on top of the popularity chart of all the Health Ministers country has ever produced. The Congress leaders said that the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minster is a very seasoned politician with a clean public image who has brought revolutionary changes in the health sector across India.
Meanwhile, former Minister and senior Congress leader, Yogesh Sawhney also congratulated Union Health Minister for being voted as the best Health Minister.
In a separate statement issued here, Yogesh Sawhney said that Ghulam Nabi Azad, by his dedication and zeal to serve the nation in health sector, has achieved this mark and got recognized world over by a private news channel which is a matter of pride for Jammu and Kashmir State.


SP Kargil launches special drive against criminals

KARGIL, AUG 18: In order to eradicate the menace of alcoholism and various other crimes including thefts and Burglaries, the District Police under the supervision of Superintendent of Police, Kargil, Sujit Kumar has initiated a drive to book all the bootleggers, Excise Act violators and criminals as per law and carried out raids and surprise checking at various places.
During the raids, 144 bottles of IMFL (Rum) were confiscated having market value of R 50,400 from the possession of Ramesh Kumar, r/o Nepal and Shaloo presently residing in Kargil Town.
During interrogation the culprits told police that Kancha Kalay, r/o Nepal presently working as a labourer at Drass has supplied the entire consignment. Case FIR No. 43/2013 under section 48 Excise Act has been registered in the P/S Kargil.
In another case, Kargil Police has recovered 800 meters of Copper cable weighing 30 kg of copper having value of s 42,000 from two accused namely Tuntun Prasad, r/o Sarun Prasad, r/o Rajouri presently working as scrap dealer in Kargil. A case FIR no.25/2013 under Section 379, 411/PRC has been registered in Police Station Kargil.
Superintendent of Police Kargil, Sujit Kumar addressing the media said that district Kargil is working on war footing to curb the menace of alcoholism, theft cases and road accidents in the District. Sujit Kumar appealed to general public and commuters of Kargil District to extend all possible help to the police officers / officials in this endeavour to make crime free society.


Police solves burglary cases, recovers 300 gm gold


JAMMU, AUG 18: Bakshi Nagar police today achieved major success in solving old burglary cases and recovered 300 grams of gold worth R 9 lakh.
With the recovery of gold the police also claimed to have solved five old burglary cases registered under FIR no: 123/2012, 154/2012, 04/2013, 56/2013 and 72/2013 under section 457 and 380 RPC at police station Bakshi Nagar. While addressing the media persons at Police station Bakshi Nagar, SSP Jammu Atul Goyal said that the recoveries have been made at the behest of one Sanjay Gupta alias Bittu, son of Hansraj resident of Shakti Nagar, Jammu whose arrest earlier at police station Nowabad led to the recovery of 500 grams of gold.
He further said that on the transfer of his custody from police station Nowabad to police station Bakshi Nagar he confessed to five more burglaries leading to further recovery of 300 grams of gold making the overall recovery from his possession 800 grams.
"With these recoveries, almost all the recent major burglary cases of Bakshi Nagar have been solved" he concluded.

Father-son duo arrested with narcotics

JAMMU: A police party of Police Station Domana achieved major success today with the arrest of a father-son duo and recovering 9500 Paravon Spas capsules from their possession. This morning, a police party of Domana laid a 'naka' at Akalpur Chowk for routine checking. When the motorcycle bearing registration number JK02 AP - 8440 carrying the father-son duo, namely, Kuldeep Singh, S/O Sansar Singh, R/O Akalpur and Shubham Singh, S/O Kuldeep Singh, was checked the police party recovered a total of 9500 contraband capsules from their possession. The case under 8/21/22 of NDPS Act (FIR No. 298/2013) has been registered at PS Domana, the duo arrested and the motorcycle seized.

  Sunday Magazine