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Fresh snowfall brings cheer to tourists, mega-festival coming up: Tourism Dept

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Jan-Feb records 45,102 tourist footfall

Jahangir Sofi

(Asian News Hub) – Much to the blessings for the tourism Industry, famous tourist destinations Gulmarg and Sonmarg witnessed a fresh snowfall adding joy to the tourists during their stay in the valley.

According to the MET department, world-famous ski destination Gulmarg recorded around 1.5 ft of snow while Sonmarg which was opened for tourists for the first time in the month of February this year recorded around 2ft snow.

Soon after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) directed the states and UTs to open up for tourism in June 2020 following the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism department in Kashmir has been on toes to host tourists in the valley.

As per the official figures available with news agency—KNO, from January 2020 to December 2020, as many as 41,267 tourists visited the valley.

In the month of December alone, the valley received 13,237 tourists and witnessed a massive celebration of Christmas and the New Year.

In the month of January this year, 19,102 tourists were reported to have visited the valley, while February witnessed 26,000 tourist footfall.

An official of the Tourism Department told KNO that fresh snowfall is nature’s gift, though the promotions, events and programs for the winter session are already over.

“The department is preparing for upcoming spring events which include a two-day mega festival on the opening of Tulip Garden, and day-long fest at Badamwari in Srinagar,” an official said.

“The fresh snowfall has surely extended the winter tourism at few hill stations in the valley, those who missed enjoying the white blanket, can still come to have a glimpse of both dry plains and white powdered mountains,” he said.  

Notably, world-famous ski destination Gulmarg also hosted the winter national games ‘Khelo India’ in which around 1200 athletes from different parts of India participated.

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Man found dead at Zaldagar

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Driver killed in Ramban

(Asian News Hub) – Body of a 38-year-old man was found at a graveyard in Zaldagar area of Srinagar on Saturday morning.

Official sources told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the body of 38-year-old man identified as Feroz Ahmad Tarray resident of Zaldagar was found at graveyard.

Also Read: Encounter rages in Drangbal Pampore

He said that a police party reached the spot and shifted the body to a nearby hospital, while further investigation has been launched to ascertain the cause of his death.

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Encounter rages in Drangbal Pampore

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Top LeT Commander involved in killing of two cops in Baghat trapped: IGP Kashmir

(Asian News Hub) – An encounter broke out between security forces and militants in Drangbal Pampore area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, officials said on Saturday morning.

An official told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that a joint of team of police, Army and CRPF after receiving information about the presence of militants launched search operation in the area.

He said that as the joint team of forces intensified searches towards suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon the party, which was retaliated, thus triggering an encounter.

Also Read: In 3 hours; two LeT (TRF) militants killed in Pulwama, Sgr encounters: Police

He said that the exchange of fire is on in the area and one to two militants are believed to be trapped in the area.

Meanwhile, IGP Kashmir said that top Let Commander involved Umar Mushtaq Khanday who was involved in killing of two cops at Baghat is trapped in Pampore encounter.

Pertinently, umar was recently named among top 10 militants in Kashmir.

“LeT commander amongst #top 10 #militant namely Umar Mustaq Khandey who was involved in #killing of two police personnel at Baghat #Srinagar & other terror crimes trapped in Pampore #Encounter: IGP Kashmir.” Kashmir police zone tweeted.

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In 3 hours; two LeT (TRF) militants killed in Pulwama, Sgr encounters: Police

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Militant killed in Pulwama was involved in killing of PDD employee at Batamaloo; Slain at Bemina encounter had killed SI Arshid at Khanyar, both slain locals; now only 3 militants active from Sgr district; 11 militants killed in 8 encounters this month: IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar

(Asian News Hub) – Jammu and Kashmir police Friday said that two Lashkar-e-Toiba (TRF) militants were killed in two separate encounters in southern Pulwama and Srinagar, who were involved in the killing of a civilian and probationary sub-inspector.

A police officer told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that based on a specific input, police, army and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in village Wahibugh area of Pulwama. “During the search operation, when the suspected house where the militant was hiding, was zeroed-in, repeated offers of surrender were made. But the militant fired indiscriminately at the forces triggering a gun-battle,” he said. “In the ensuing encounter, one militant identified as Shahid Bashir Shiekh, resident of Habba Kadal, Srinagar was killed and his body retrieved from the site of encounter.” The officer said that slain militant had joined militancy recently and was linked with Lashkar-e-Toiba (TRF). Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar told KNO that slain militant Shahid was involved in the killing of civilian and PDD employee Muhammad Shafi Dar of Batamaloo, Srinagar. “We have recovered an AK-47 riffle from the slain militant,” the IGP said.

Also Read: Afghanistan: 37 killed, over 70 injured as blast hits Shia mosque in Kandahar

About the second encounter, police said based on a specific input by police about the presence of a militant at Hamdaniya Colony Bemina area of Srinagar, an operation was launched by the police in the area. “During the search operation, the hiding militant was asked to surrender but he fired at the forces triggering an encounter,” a police official said, adding that “In the ensuing encounter, one militant identified as Tanzeel Ahmed, a resident of Haba Kadal, Srinagar.

Also Read: AIIMS doctor booked for raping colleague

He said that the slain Tanzeel was involved in the killing of Probationary Sub Inspector Arshid Ashraf at Khanyar, Srinagar on September 12. The Kashmir police chief said that Shahid and Tanzil were also “collaborators in recent killings of a chemist and two teachers in the city.” The IGP Kashmir said that after recent civilian killings, Srinagar based militants had shifted to South Kashmir “but we continued to track their movements and managed to zero in on them today.”

Also Read: Will live and die with Muslims; no question of migration: non-migrant KPs

“Now only three militants are active as two have been killed today. We are after the remaining three and will soon get them,” the IGP said, both the encounters took place within a span of three hours. “Both operations are over and two-AK-47 rifles have been recovered from the two slain militants,” he said.

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