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Lawaypora Encounter: Families demand mortal remains of their sons; Omar, Mehbooba support families’ demand

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Police releases 2 videos showing army offering surrender to trapped militants

Sheikh Danish

Srinagar, Jan 04: The families of youth who were killed in Lawaypora encounter on December 30 staged a protest in Srinagar on Monday and demanded the mortal remains of their loved ones so that they could have their “last glimpse and burry them with respect.”

As per news agency—KNO, the families of two youth that include Athar from Pulwama and Zubair Ahmad Lone from Shopian districts of South Kashmir assembled here at Srinagar’s Press Enclave and demanded justice.

Father of Athar, amid tears and sobs demanded that the authorities should hand over the body of his son, who was among the three youth killed in the gunfight.

Athar’s sister said that her slain brother left home at 01:00 PM, but he didn’t inform the family where he was going. “We called him in the evening, but his number was switched off. On the other morning, we got a call from a police officer who sought a photograph of my brother and informed us that he was killed in a gunfight,” she said.

She added that they demand justice as her brother was innocent. Moreover, the family of Zubair also gathered at Press Enclave here and pleaded that their son was innocent, saying that they fail to understand how their beloved turned a militant just within two to three hours.

Brother of Zubair, who is a cop said that “we demand the authorities to enquire about the incident so that such kind of incidents will not be repeated in the future. We have seen a similar incident in Amshipora, where authorities claimed that arms and ammunition was recovered from the possession of the slain.”

“Zubair was not in Srinagar on that day. We came to know that his location at around 02:30 was traced at Lassipora, a few kilometers away from our home. We approached the SHO concerned who told us to approach SSP in this regard,” he said.

Muhammad Shafi Lone, Zubair’s another brother said that “our beloved, who was innocent was killed and the statements coming to the fore are quite shocking. Zubair left home at 02:00 PM and was not in Srinagar. There are contrary statements coming to the fore. We want the facts to be made public so that justice will be delivered.”

“In case the statements are proven right, we will be at the forefront to say sorry to the authorities,” he said, adding that during the encounter, the families should have been called to the gunfight site for the surrender, which has not taken place.

Pertinently, authorities said that three militants have been killed in the gunfight at Lawaypora on Srinagar outskirts while the families contested the claims and pleaded that their beloved are innocent.

Omar, Mehbooba Support Families Demand

The former chief minister of J&K and the National Conference vice-president while taking to his twitter handle wrote: “It is very important that the probe in to the Hokarsar encounter be concluded at the earliest. Only a fair & transparent probe, already promised by LG Manoj Sinha, will satisfy the families who have lost their loved ones who they insist were innocent.” He further stated that the LG has promised a fair & speedy probe into this encounter when JKNC Member Parliament Hasnain Masoodi spoke to him about it recently. “In the interim we hope the LG will order the handing over of the bodies to the families,” Omar wrote.

Echoing similar views, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti reiterated her demand that the bodies of three slain youth killed in Lawaypora encounter be returned to their families and demanded an impartial probe into the gunfight in a time-bound manner. “People and the families of three slain youth are demanding mortal remains of those killed in Lawaypora encounter. Why can’t a mother see the face of her lost one last time, this is injustice, how can you win the hearts of Kashmiris,?” Mehbooba said while talking to reporters at her Gupkar residence as per KNO.

Kashmir Police Zone Releases Surrender Offer Videos

As the demand for the return of bodies of three slain youth of Lawaypora encounter has gone louder, Police on Monday released two short videos in which army personnel can be heard offering surrender to “trapped militants” inside a house at Hokersar, Lawaypora on December 29 last and as also on the next day as well.

“On 29/12/20 evening after the cordon at #Hokersar, troops are repeatedly #appealing the trapped #(militants) to come out and #surrender with assurances that they will not be harmed,” police said in the tweet on its official twitter handle. In the 27-second video, a drone can be seen making a round over the suspected house, while an army man makes surrender offer saying, “You are given a chance to surrender. Leave weapons and come out. We assure you that you will not be harmed. Hands up and come out.”

Later, a 26-second video was released, dated 30 December 2020, and army is heard asking the militants: “Do you want to surrender? In case you want to surrender, then remove your clothes and come out in the ground.”

Three youth— 24-year-old Ajaz Maqbool Ganai from Putrigam, Pulwama, 22-year-old Zubair Ahmad Lone from Turkawangam Shopian and Athar Muhstaq Wani from Bellow, Pulwama, were killed on December in the “encounter” at Lawaypora.

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Ganderbal residents raise concern over rise in stray dogs

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(Asian News Hub) – The increasing numbers of stray dogs in Ganderbal district have become a cause of grave concern for the inhabitants of the district who are not able to move around freely.

Locals of several villages in Ganderbal told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the situation has turned into a serious problem with concerned authorities turning a deaf ear to the public outcry.

Also Read: Manpower shortage mars SMC: Against requirement of 7000 sweepers, corporation has only 2700

Locals said that herds of dogs can be seen on the prowl at various areas of the district and sub district.

“The increasing number of stray dogs are posing a grave threat to the life of people and the movement of people, especially children, elders and women has become difficult during morning and evening hours,” locals said.

People have alleged that the steep rise in dog population was due to their transportation from urban areas during night hours and have appealed to the concerned authorities to tackle the menace at an earliest so that people heave a sigh of relief.

Inhabitants alleged that the authorities are doing nothing to control the menace.

“Scores of dogs are seen on the prowl at various areas of the district including busy markets of Kangan, Ganderbal and other places,” they said.

Locals said it has become difficult during morning and evening hours to move at ease.

“We are living under threat due to the dog menace. We cannot move freely on roads and go to mosques during wee hours,” said Wani Bilal, a local resident of Ganderbal.

He said that our school going children are vulnerable to attacks by stray dogs which forced us to stop them from attending school.

Locals said that municipal authorities have failed to look into the matter despite repeated requests to them.

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Manpower shortage mars SMC: Against requirement of 7000 sweepers, corporation has only 2700

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Corporation mulls to outsource sanitation, approval sent for necessary action: Dy Mayor

(Asian News Hub) – The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is facing an acute shortage of manpower with officials stating it has sent an approval to the concerned authorities to outsource the sanitation in Srinagar.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the officials said that SMC requires a total of 7000 sweepers, but it unfortunately has only 2700, which means the corporation is facing shortage of over 60 percent shortage.

Also Read: Moderna chief predicts existing COVID-19 vaccines will struggle with Omicron variant

They said that with the shortage of the manpower, the sanitation has finally got affected, besides pushing the existing manpower to the wall.

“The amount of garbage being lifted per day has also increased as against a total of 300 tons per day, the SMC is lifting 650 tons of garbage every day from Srinagar including its outskirts,” the officials said.

They said that there is a need to increase the manpower to ensure that the sanitation is not affected and the safayi karamcharis are not overburdened.

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor SMC, Parvaiz Qadri, when contacted admitted the shortage of manpower, saying that such is the situation that the representatives from every wards is suggesting to go for outsourcing of sanitation process here in Srinagar as the fewer number of sweepers are not able to cater all the areas with corporation’s jurisdiction.

He also informed that the corporation has sent an approval to the Executive Committee with regard to the outsourcing of sanitation in Srinagar.

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Plastic Factory gutted in midnight blaze at SIDCO Pulwama

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(Asian News Hub) – A plastic factory was reduced to ashes in industrial area of SIDCO Lassipora in Pulwama district in a massive fire that broke out on Monday late night.

Reports reaching the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that the fire broke out at the factory namely ‘Stalwart plastics’ on Monday at around 10 PM and engulfed the whole factory.

Also Read: Give us citizenship rights or send us back: PaK brides urge PM Modi, J&K LG Manoj Sinha

Officials said that 44 RR headquarter, which is near the factory rushed to the spot to douse the fire, adding that the fire tenders from defence forces were also roped in to douse the flames.

They said that on priority, the civilians were evacuated and then team of Army, police and fire and emergency started operation to control the fire.

They said that the fire was doused after almost two-hour-long operation, adding that no loss of life has been reported while the industry was reduced to ashes while the cause of fire is being ascertained.

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