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Ready For Amarnath Yatra But Decision Lies With Civil Admin: Army Chief

Says J&K People Should Shun Violence For Better Future; ‘Prepared To Tackle 3rd Covid-19 Wave’

(Asian News Hub) – Army on Thursday said that it was ready for the Amarnath Yatra and has taken all necessary steps for it even as the decision to conduct the annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine lies with civil administration.

On 22 April, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), which organises the annual yatra, announced to “temporarily” suspending of the registration of pilgrims for the pilgrimage.
The board had started registration of pilgrims online from April 15 for the Baltal and the Pahalgam routes, which leads to the cave shrine. The 56-day yatra pending any further decision is scheduled to start from June 28.

Addressing reporters here, Chief of Army Staff, General MM Naravane, also said that situation along LoC as well as on the hinterland has greatly improved even as he urged people of J&K to shun the path of violence as “it will not take you anywhere.”

“After being briefed by Commanders on the situation, both on LoC and hinterland, I am glad to say that all the parameters we judge the normalcy by, have seen great improvement. There have been few (militant) initiated incidents.

There have been hardly any cases of stone pelting, any cases or nil cases of IEDs in the recent past and all these are indicators of return of sense of normalcy,” he said as per GNS correspondent, adding, “these are all indicators that awaam (people) also wants the same and that is very good thing that is happening. In this context of return to normalcy, we are from our side prepared for Amarnath Yatra and have taken all the necessary steps for the smooth conduct of Yatra. Of course, the decision to conduct Yatra or not lies with the civil administration.”

The statement comes less than two days after Central Board of Secondary Education cancelled Class XII examination following a review meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It would be interesting if the government goes ahead with pilgrimage.

Responding to a question by selected panel of reporters, the Army Chief said that his people in general, not only youth, should shun path of “violence” for better future.

“After such a long time we have reached a situation where peace and tranquility prevails, where people are able to perceive their dreams and aspirations. My message to all, not only youth, would be that when there is peace and tranquility can there be development and when there is development, we will all prosper,” he said, adding, “You should shun path of violence as it will not take you anywhere.

Army chief arrived on a two-day visit on Wednesday and met Lieutenant governor among others during the visit.

“See outside how world has moved on how India has moved on and therefore embrace the future and future lies in shunning the violence and if you do that it will only hasten the process of ushering the new era of development and prosperity in the state,” he said.

He said that peace in Jammu and Kashmir is a “whole of government approach”.

“It involves political sphere, local government and security forces. in this overall gamut, army’s role is to bring down levels of violence to an extend where civil administration and local security forces can than play their role in the development of region and J&K,” he said, adding, “Army’s role is to work with sync. The ultimate aim is to bring the level of violence so that peace and development can take place.”

Regarding “operation Sadbhavna”, he said that it was undertaken two decades ago when the situation in J&K was bad and local government was able to reach out to the people.
“We have been doing Sadbhavna for more than twenty years ago. 20 years ago when the situation was bad when local administration could not reach out to far flung areas to carryout developmental activities. At that time the Sadbhavna projects by army and other security forces helped a lot to ameliorate the sufferings and needs of the local population.”

For example, he said, Army good will schools were established when there were no schools in far flung areas.

“Obviously local youth and children were suffering and that is why we stepped in to fill up the breach. As the situation has now improved and as the administration is now being able to reach out into these areas, we will now recalibrate Sadbhavna activities in sync with the local administration so that we not do duplicate effort and we carry out those activities which are synergized and which will bring relief and succor to those who need it.”

Regarding Covid-19, he said that entire establishment was now better prepared to tackle third wave which may or may not happen.

“Covid is another kind of war which is fought by the country. There is not a single family which has not been affected by Covid. It is our responsibility as armed forces of the nation in this hour of need to do whatever we can do for the help of our citizens,” he said, adding, “We have left no stone unturned and spared no resources in helping out in this hour of grief.

I am happy to say that overall number of cases in the country has now seen a downturn and we are no in beating the second wave and as result of the capacities we have built in month and half, we are much better prepared to tackle 3rd wave which may or may not occur.”



Active Al-Badr militant found dead in Soura, Sgr

(Asian News Hub) – Body of an active militant from Al-Badr outfit was found in Soura area of Srinagar on Saturday late evening, officials said.

They said police came to know about the body of an active militant of Al-Badr lying on a roadside near Soura area of Srinagar. A police official told that the body of the militant identified as Amir Ahmed Malik, 23, a C category A-Badr militant.  “Malik was active since November 2020. He hails from Hyder Gund, Zainapora area of Shopian,” the official said.

A police official said it seems that the militant was killed in a “group clash” even as further investigations are on.


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Lady dies, minor boy injured in Doda road accident

Anzer Ayoob

(Asian News Hub) – A lady died while a minor boy was injured after a vehicle they were travelling in met with an accident near Police Station Assar in Doda district on Sunday.

An official said that a swift vehicle bearing registration number JK02CC-8873 was on its way from Jammu to Bhaderwah when it skidded off the road and rolled down from National Highway.l, leaving a lady dead on the spot and also left a minor boy wounded.

He said that the deceased lady identified as Babita Manhas, wife of late Krishan Manhas and injured minor identified as 11-yr-old Rehan Manhas are residents of Gandoh area of Doda district and presently residing at Jammu.


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4 including 2 civilians, 2 cops killed in Sopore militant attack

Police officer among 4 others injured; Injured civilian critical; Militants targeted police party enforcing Covid lockdown; Lashkar behind strike, have identified attackers, says DGP Dilbagh Singh

Peerzada Waseem

(Asian News Hub) – MilitantsSaturday attacked a police party at main chowk of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district in which two policemen and two civilians were killed while a police officer among four others sustained bullet injuries.

Among two injured civilians, the condition of one is stated as critical. A police official told that militants targeted a police party at main chowk Sopore when they were enforcing carona curfew in the area. “The militants fired indiscriminately at the police party killing two policemen and two civilians. Two more cops and two civilians sustained injuries who are being treated in the hospital,” the officials said.

The injured, police official said, were first shifted to Sub-District Hospital Sopore wherefrom one policeman was shifted to SMHS hospital Srinagar for treatment. Hospitals sources at SDH Sopore told that two policeman and two civilians were brought to hospital in multiple bullet injuries after which they succumbed.

The slain policemen were identified as Constable Waseem Ahmed son of Muhamamd Saqiq Bhat of Narbal, Srinagar and constable Showkat Ahmed son of Abdul Gani, resident of Goripora, Beerwah Budgam. The dead civilians were identified as Bashir Ahmed Khan son of Ghulam Hassan of Mohalla Taliyan, Sopore and Showkat Ahmed Shalla son of Ghulam Qadir of Shalimar Colony Sopore.

Sources identified the injured Sub-Inspector as Mukesh Kumar and SPO Danish Ahmed. The injured civilian has been identified as Nayeem Ahmed Khan son of Muhammad Maqbool, a resident of Maharajpora, Sopore, who has been referred to SMHS hospital Srinagar where his condition is stated as critical. “He has received bullet injury in his thigh and abdomen,” hospital sources said. Police, however, said that four civilians sustained injuries of which two succumbed. The identity of second injured civilian couldn’t be ascertained.

A pall of gloom descended on Sopore, Srinagar and Beerwah localities when bodies of four—two cops and two civilians reached their respective homes. The bodies of two slain cops were first taken to District Police Lines (DPL) Srinagar where police paid rich tributes to them.

Director General of Police (J&K) Dilbagh Singh, who paid floral tributes to the slain cops at DPL Srinagar, said that Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit was behind the Sopore attack, in which two cops and two civilians were killed and three others were injured. Talking to the reporters on the sidelines of wrath laying ceremony of two cops here, Dilbag Singh, said that LeT outfit was involved in this attack and they have identified the attackers, however, further details will not be shared at the moment.

Singh said that to enforce Covid appropriate behaviour in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, a party from Sopore police station under the charge of sub-inspector Mukesh Kumar was deployed in the chowk when the attack took place.

He said that the firing was retaliated by the police party during which some personnel were injured and civilians who had set up their fruit and vegetables stalls nearby also got injured.

“Subsequently, two injured cops succumbed to their injuries, identified as constable Waseem and constable Showkat and sub-inspector Mukesh and SPO Danish got injured. Three civilians were also injured of whom two later succumbed while another one was referred to Srinagar hospital for treatment,” he said

He said they were looking into all the angles of the attack and forces have also launched a follow-up operation in the area and the perpetrators of the crime will be soon brought to justice.

Replying to a query, Singh said that militancy was declining and control of the forces in all the areas was very good while operations were also being carried out. “However, due to Covid-19 there has been a decline in anti-militancy operations but the forces still have an upper hand and we are launching operation in all the areas as well,” he said.

He said that under these circumstances these incidents happen and all those who are involved in these attacks will be not be spared at any cost.


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