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Thursday, January 18, 2018Speaker's allegations against Dy CM triggers opposition's walkout

Breach of Privileges

JAMMU: Rare scenes were witnessed inside the State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday when Custodian of House, Speaker LA Kavinder Gupta today blamed Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, his colleague in BJP, for breaching his privileges and protocol, triggering a joint walkout by main opposition National Conference, along with Congress, and legislators of CPI (M) and PDF legislator. Minutes after the speaker revealed how his security protocol was breached and was still waiting for a report from the authorities concerned, the opposition staged a brief walkout from the assembly as MLAs, cut


Thursday, January 18, 2018Jawan martyred, 2 injured in Pak shelling at RS Pura

JAMMU: In a late night strike, a BSF jawan on Wednesday night attained martyrdom, reportedly, as Pakistan yet again violated the truce by firing heavily and targeting forward BSF posts along the international border in R S Pura Sector, besides Arnia Sector.
Two villagers of Gharana have also received injuries in the unprovoked shelling by Pakistan.
Official sources informed that Pakistan Rangers opened unprovoked firing at forward posts of BSF, also targeting Indian villages with automatics and motrars in Sai,Trewa Nikowal in Arnia sector.
The Pak rangers also opened fire in RS Pura s


Thursday, January 18, 2018Kashmiris tired of terrorism, realise no option other than India: Rawat

'Bringing back radilcalised youth will end terrorism'

JAMMU: Asserting that people in Kashmir have understood that it is very difficult to secede from India, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said that those in Valley are now tired of terrorism as they have realised that it cannot give them what they want.
General Rawat also said that a larger section in Kashmir wants to join mainstream while bringing back those who have been radicalised holds the key to end the era of terror in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Army chief also said that repeated incidents of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control speaks for Pakistan's nefarious atte


Thursday, January 18, 2018Expert group set up to study dev deficit in remote areas

'Economic recovery on, revival to follow'

JAMMU: Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu today announced constitution of an expert group to study the reasons for development deficit in the state's remote areas and suggest measures for boosting infrastructure development.
"The government would also make development deficit in remote areas of the state a part of the terms of reference of the proposed State Finance Commission so that a holistic view is taken on the issue and the allocation of resources is made accordingly," Drabu said while replying to the discussion on Budget 2018-19 in the upper house.
He said there are many hard-to-reach are


Thursday, January 18, 2018At Rs 596.26 Cr, new tech to strengthen backbone of successful administration

Demand for Grants

JAMMU: Terming revenue department as the backbone for successful administration, Minister for Revenue, Hajj and Auqaf and Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri on Wednesday said that timely and relevant interventions are important to ensure healthy public service delivery. "The department is consistently evaluating various land reform schemes, changing developmental strategies and taking necessary steps to strengthen the department," Veeri said during discussions on Demand of grants for these departments, pegged at Rs 596.26 crore, which were passed by the house for the year 2018-19, wit


Thursday, January 18, 2018'Govt Depts biggest defaulters of Wakaf properties, lands'

JAMMU: Minister for Revenue, Haj, Auqaf and Parliamentary Affairs Department, Abdul Rehman Veeri today told the Legislative Assembly that in the list of major defaulters of the Haj and Wakaf properties, government departments
are at the top. While replying to the concerns of the legislators regarding encroachment of the Wakaf properties in the state, Veeri said, "Government departments are the biggest defaulters of the Wakaf properties and lands."
He was specifically replying to the queries of Ali Mohammad Sagar and Ghulam Mohammad Saroori regarding the steps taken to remove the encro


Thursday, January 18, 2018At Rs 528.33 Crore, horticulture deptt seeks revival in high density plantation, processing

JAMMU: The State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed with voice vote the grants of the horticulture department for the year 2018-19, amounting to over Rs 528.33 crore.
The grants for the horticulture were passed after a thorough discussion involving 21 members.
Replying to the discussion on demand for grants, Horticulture Minister Syed Basharat Ahmad Bukhari said the horticulture sector generated a total wage employment of 7.71 crore mandays in the year 2016-17 under apple orchards and others, coming out as one of the major sources for direct and indirect employment generation in the


Thursday, January 18, 2018Police books Tehsildar, Patwari without investigation, seeks internal action later

JAMMU: In what could be termed as heights of non-professionalism, the state police booked two revenues officers in a falsely framed fraud case without requisite inquiry only to be left red-faced later, followed by writing for the departmental action against the two officers. In what is certainly not the first incident of callous approach by the police, a Naib Tehsildar and Patwari were booked under section 420, 34 RPC in case registered against FIR No 13/2018.
Two officers, namely Amit Updhay, Naib Tehsildar Bishnah and Mohammad Salim Javid, Patwari were booked on the complaint of one Raj


Thursday, January 18, 2018SRO 520: Irked by exclusion, donors close water supply from their lands

SRINAGAR: Even as the dry spell has created water shortage in Kashmir, closure of water supply schemes by land donors in Valley in protest of government's non-commitment to amend the SRO 520 for regularisation of hundreds like them, has further aggravated the crisis in the region.
A number of land donors in the Valley have closed down the Water Supply Schemes constructed on their propriety land donated by them in lieu of jobs in the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department, following the controversial 'one kanal cap' in the notification of SRO 520 that laid down rules for regularisation of


Thursday, January 18, 2018GST council meet today, rejig in tax rates expected

NEW DELHI: Just two weeks before the Budget, GST Council is expected to consider a reduction in tax rates for some items, about 80 going by some reports, and the inclusion of real estate in its 24th meeting on Thursday.
The meeting comes amid continuous dip in GST revenue collection in the last two months. The collection registered a sharp dip to Rs 80,808 crore in November, from Rs 94,063 crore in the
launch month in July last year.
The council is also expected to majorly hold discussions over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mission for having a digital-based economy, wit


Thursday, January 18, 2018Sitharaman becomes 1st woman Def Min to fly Sukhoi jet, in 45-Minute sortie

JODHPUR: In an olive green pilot's G-suit and a helmet on her head, Nirmala Sitharaman today soared high on a Sukhoi-30 MKI jet, the first Indian woman defence minister to go on a sortie on the all-weather, long-range fighter.
The supersonic jet took off from the Air Force station at Jodhpur, where one of the Sukhoi squadrons is based, at 1 pm, rose to a height of 8000 metres and broke the sound barrier. After a 45-minute flight on the India Air Force (IAF) s frontline jet over the Western sector of Rajasthan bordering Pakistan, Sitharaman was back at the Air Force station. "It was a memorab


Thursday, January 18, 2018NIA's charge sheet today in Kashmir terror funding

NEW DELHI: After six months of probe, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will file a charge sheet on Thursday against seven Kashmiri separatist leaders including the son-in-law of fire-brand separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and some businessmen in a case of alleged funding of terror and secessionist activities in the Kashmir Valley.
According to NIA sources, the agency will file the chargesheet against the arrested separatist leaders and a businessman under various sections of money laundering and waging war against country as the judicial custody ends on January 18.
Refusing to div


Thursday, January 18, 2018Three suspended as footbridge collapses before inauguration

POONCH: The state government on Wednesday suspended three officers and disengaged two others after a foot bridge collapsed at Loran area of Poonch district. The bridge was yet to be inaugurated formally. Reports said that a foot bridge at Loran (Barachar Panchayat) ward No 2 collapsed suddenly on Wednesday morning. "The bridge was constructed under MGNERAGA scheme at a cost of Rs 7 lakh few months back", locals said. Locals alleged that the officials in nexus with the
contractors embezzled the more than half of the allotted amount while sub-standard items including cement and


Thursday, January 18, 20184 KAS shifted

JAMMU: The state government on Wednesday affected a minor reshuffle in the middle-rung administration, transferring three KAS officers. As per the official order in this regard, Sachin Jamwal, Assistant Commissioner (General), Jammu, was transferred and posted as General Manager, JAKFED while Sushil Khajuria, Deputy Director, Employment (Central), J&K, was transferred and posted as Chief Executive Officer, Jammu Urban Development Agency, vice Kulbushan Khajuria, who in turn was transferred and posted as Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Jammu (South), Gangyal, vice Sonu
Pargal, who shall await


Thursday, January 18, 201897 Lakh people have Aadhaar

JAMMU: The State government today said that 97 lakh people, over 77 per cent of 1.25 crore population have got their Aadhaar cards generated in the state and efforts were on to cover the remaining population. In a written reply to National Conference MLA Devender Singh Rana, Information Technology minister Imran Raza Ansari said there are 329 Aadhaar enrolment centres operational in the state. "As per the 2011 census, the total population of Jammu and Kashmir is
1.25 crore out of which 0.97 crore Aadhaar cards have been generated, while the remaining people shall be covered in the com


Thursday, January 18, 2018PIA charges fixed at 8%, 8.5% for T&D works

JAMMU: In re-negotiation of Project Implementation Agency (PIA) charges of Power for transmission and distribution and RE works, the charges for power supply in Jammu and Kashmir have now been fixed at 8 percent for the transmission works and 8.5 percent for distribution networks.
This was decided in a meeting of PIA charges under IPDS, DDUGJY, RGGVY-II, PMDP and R-APDRP (Part-B) which was
chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh at Shram Shakti Bhawan in New Delhi.
The Minister for Finance Dr Haseeb A. Drabu also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, certain othe


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Centre scraps Haj subsidy; PDP silent, NC hails, Congress robs GoI of credit


JAMMU: In a major move to 'empower minorities without appeasement', in line with the Supreme Court's direction passed in 2012, the Centre on Tuesday has done away with the subsidy for Haj from this year, 3 years ahead of the schedule fixed by the apex court, asserting that the funds saved will be used for providing education to minorities, instead.
While the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) preferred silence over the Government of India's move, opposition National Conference said that it welcomes the decision "as subsidy on religious pilgrimage is Haram in Islam."
The S


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Unified HQ meet: Mehbooba pitches for ‘meaningful engagement’ of youth

JAMMU: Stressing that security agencies should adopt a more humane approach while dealing with situations in Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday batted strongly for 'meaningful engagement' of Kashmiri youth so that they are able to contribute to the society.
The Chief Minister also advised the security agencies to exercise maximum restraint and strictly ensure safety and security of people and their properties.
She made these remarks while chairing the Unified Headquarters meeting where she also took a review of the overall security scenario in the State including the situ


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Army Captain injured in Poonch CFV

JAMMU: Pakistani troops opened fire at Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district Tuesday late evening, injuring an Army Captain.
"There was a ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Army. They resorted to firing along the LoC in Chakan Da Bagh area in Poonch this evening," a security force official said.
The injured Army Captain has been hospitalised, they said.
The Indian troops retaliated and the exchange of fire continued till late night, they said.
The latest violation of the ceasefire came a day after seven Pakistani Army men, including a Major, were killed and fo


Wednesday, January 17, 2018CJI meets 4 rebel judges

NEW DELHI: In what is seen as the first signs of thaw, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra today reached out to the four senior most judges of the Supreme Court in a bid to defuse the unprecedented row over allocation of cases and other issues amid fresh hopes of a resolution by the weekend.
As the crisis that rocked the apex court appeared to linger on, court sources said the CJI met the four dissenting judges - Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph - for 15 minutes and discussed all issues raised by them at their press conference on January 12. The issues inclu


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Army pays 12 cr as Land rent in Valley

JAMMU: The Indian Army pays as much as Rs 12,38,21,481 as rental annually to the owners of the private land in Kashmir division, the government told the state legislative assembly on Tuesday.
In a written reply, the home ministry led by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that the land rent under the occupation of defence forces is being revised after every five years in reply of a question to MLA Shopian, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat.
“The defence forces pay an annual rent of private land of Rs 12, 38, 21, 481,” said Mehbooba in the legislative assembly.

The details said that the most of ren


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Enforcement agencies shift blame, SVO clueless

Fruit ripener seizure


JAMMU: With the probe being initiated by the State Vigilance Organization (SVO) in connection with seizure of the China made fruit ripener agent (Ethylene Ripener) from Narwal Fruit Mandi Complex, the blame game within three government departments has started with the trio pointing towards one-another as culprit for showing negligence which paved way to cancer breading agents to reach in Jammu and Kashmir.
Official sources said that the State Vigilance Organization is muzzling its head after the three government departments, who happens to be the Enforcement Agencies includin


Wednesday, January 17, 2018‘PMDP size Rs 82453 cr’

JAMMU: Finance minister informed that the estimated size of the Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) has gone up to Rs 82,453 crore and the projects instituted under this package are at different stages of execution.
The minister was replying to a question by BJP MLA Rajiv Jasrotia in the state Legislative Assembly.
He said that the package aims at overall development of the state and cannot be segregated at regional, sub-regional or district levels.
Drabu further informed that there was no timeline prescribed for spending, but it depends on their capacity to spend.
He added th


Wednesday, January 17, 2018‘Discussions tarnish J&K bank's image’

JAMMU: Finance Minister today appealed to the opposition legislators not to tarnish the image of J&K Bank.
He said that he will look into all the issues to make the appointment process in the bank more transparent but the issues related to J&K Bank should not be discussed in the State Assembly, as it tarnishes the image of the bank.
"I remained chairman of the bank from Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Ghulam Nabi Azad to Omar Sahib's government. In these years, the bank has worked in most autonomous manner and its issues were never discussed in the J&K Assembly," Dr Drabu said while appea


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Industrial Development Scheme announced

JAMMU: In a significant decision aimed at expanding and promoting business activities in the State, Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb A Drabu today announced an exclusive Industrial Development Scheme for J&K bringing, for the first time, the services sector under the ambit of the pioneering initiative.
Making the big announcement in the State Assembly while winding up the discussion on Budget 2018-19 in the House, Dr Drabu said that under the scheme, to be rolled out shortly, Central Capital Investment subsidy of 30 percent would be provided for plant and machinery including buildings for hotel


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Budget aimed at reviving J&K's economy, promoting endogenous growth: Drabu

‘Toll Tax kept intact for helping policy making, not revenue’

JAMMU: Asserting that the basic theme of Budget 2018-19 is to revive JK's economy and promote endogenous growth through enhanced public expenditure, Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu on Tuesday said the local fiscal system which got shattered because of the 2014 floods, 2016 disturbances, demonetization and GST, needs to be put back on track through sustained interventions.
Winding up the discussion on the Budget proposals for 2018-19 in the State Assembly, Drabu defended some of the significant decision made by him. He stressed that it is the policy making in the state and not the r


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Centre approves Kishtwar Airport

JAMMU: In a major development, the Central government on Tuesday has given its nod to establishment of a full-fledged Airport facility in Kishtwar district,
The Airport, having provision for Aircraft landing and taking off, will come up adjacent to the Chaugan ground and will be used jointly by the civilian authorities as well as the Indian Army.
In this regard, the state government is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Defence authorities wherein an Airstrip will be constructed and maintained by State Government.
Besides, the extra piece of land required for cons


Wednesday, January 17, 2018J&K witnesses 9 pc rise in Crime against women

JAMMU: The crime against women has been rising alarmingly in the state, with the year-on-year rise registered at around 9% in the year 2017. As per official data, 3168 cases of crime against women, including rapes, gang rapes, kidnapping, molestations, outraging modesty, eve- teasing, dowry death cases, abatement of suicides, among others, have been registered in the state last year as against 2,915 cases in 2016.
As per data, the year 2017 witnessed steady rise in the heinous crime against women in the state which include 2152 rape cases, 4 gang rape cases, 6518 kidnapping cases, 14,338


Wednesday, January 17, 2018 Nowshera: She grew up Hindu, embraced Christianity, died in conflict between two

JAMMU: Violence erupted on Tuesday in the Nowshera town of district Rajouri over the performance of last rites of a Hindu girl married to the Christian boy resulting injuries to over a dozen person including policemen while mob set two shops, one tractor and a place of worship ablaze.
Reports said that the one Seema Devi (now reportedly a converted Christian) had married to one Rinku Kumar (a Christian) resident of Sarya Nowshera of district Rajouri working as labourer in Jalandhar, Punjab.
After the marriage, both were working in Punjab but situation turned tense yesterday when the body


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Sagar, Rashid raises Kawa's arrest issue

JAMMU: The State Assembly today witnessed uproarious scenes after the opposition NC and MLA Sheikh Rashid raised the issue of Bilal Ahmad Kawa, who was arrested on charges of involvement in the 2000 Red Fort attack last week, and demanded a statement from the government.
The issue was raised by Independent MLA Rashid who also trooped into the well of the House, before returning to his seat later. He was supported by the legislators of the National Conference (NC) party.
"Kawa is innocent. Ensure his release," Rashid said as he referred to the protest by his family members, who, he said,


Wednesday, January 17, 2018NC, Cong walkout over unsatisfactory reply of Priya Sethi

JAMMU: The opposition National Conference and Congress legislator from Ladakh and Kargil region along with other party legislators today lodged a strong protest in the assembly over Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism, Priya Sethi's unsatisfactory response over promotion of tourism in the Ladakh Region.
They later staged a joint walkout from the Assembly while one of them, Deldan Namgyal dared the government to make him the Tourism Minister for a day to see revamping of the department.
In the first sitting of the house, Asgar Ali Karbalai, the Congress legislator from Kargil sought repl


Wednesday, January 17, 2018Prev govt was far better than PDP-BJP Dispenstion, realises BJP's Sukhnandan


JAMMU: In a major embarrassment for the government in the Legislative Assembly today, the BJP legislator from Marh Constituency, Choudhary Sukhnandan said that the previous NC-Congress government was far better than the ruling PDP-BJP coalition.
He said so while highlighting the issues of the farmers of Jammu Region and his constituency in particular.
Participating in the General Budget discussion, Sukhnandan said that the Agriculture sector in Jammu is neglected in the PDP-BJP government while the Horticulture sector in Kashmir is given adequate attention.
Sukhnandan sai


Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Twin actions on LoC: Seven Pak soldiers reported dead in Indian retaliation, five JeM militants killed

JAMMU/SRINAGAR: Seven Pakistani soldiers were killed today in retaliatory firing by the Indian Army after a ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir where an infiltration bid was also foiled with the elimination of five militants of Pakistan-based JeM, army officers said.
The army action came on a day when its chief Gen Bipin Rawat sent a stern messsage to Pakistan, saying it may escalate its offensive against terror groups and carry out the 'other action' if forced by the neighbouring country.
In his address to army personnel in Delhi to mark the Army Day today, the Army chief said Pakista


Tuesday, January 16, 2018Cross-LoC travel suspended as tensions escalate

JAMMU: The cross-LoC travel between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has been suspended due to tension on the LoC following the killing of seven Pakistani soldiers in retaliatory action by the Indian Army in Poonch district today.
"Cross-LoC travel has been suspended after Pakistan shelling and firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and the tension that followed," custodian of LoC Trade and Travel, Poonch, Mohammad Tanveer said.
The Pakistani troops this morning violated ceasefire and resorted to shelling and firing along the LoC in Mendhar sector of Poonch district, fo


Tuesday, January 16, 2018Ready to escalate offensive to combat terror: Army Chief

NEW DELHI: In a stern message to Pakistan, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat asserted today that the Army will not allow anti-India activities to succeed in Jammu and Kashmir and it was ready to escalate military offensive to combat cross-border terrorism if Islamabad forces it to do so.
Addressing Army personnel on the occasion of Army Day, Rawat also said that disputes along the Line of Actual Control with China were continuing and the Army was trying to stop the Chinese transgressions.
"Ensuring security along the Line of Actual Control (with China) is our main duty," he said without elaboratin


Tuesday, January 16, 2018CM to chair Unified HQ meeting today


JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir's topmost security policy and strategy grouping, the Unified Headquarters, headed by Chief Minister, is meeting tomorrow to make an assessment of the present security situation and discuss the future challenges.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will chair the meeting at her Wazarat Road residence tomorrow morning. The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of new strategic approaches in Kashmir, amnesty to stone-pelters and the upcoming Panchayat elections.
Besides Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, top brass of the Army, state Police


Tuesday, January 16, 2018Pakistan summons India's Deputy HC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan today summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh to protest the deaths of four of its soldiers [seven, according Indian sources] in firing across the Line of Control.
The Foreign Office (FO) here said in a statement that India violated the ceasefire agreement in Jandrot sub-sector of Kotli sector, "resulting in the martyrdom of four Pakistani soldiers, while injuring five others".
The Indian Army today said seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in its retaliatory firing after a ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kashmir where an infiltration bid was also foiled wi


Tuesday, January 16, 2018Days after slamming Gen Rawat, J&K inks pact with Centre for ‘mainstreaming children, using education as tool for normalcy’

JAMMU: Barely two days after Education Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari slammed Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat for suggesting revam in education system in Jammu and Kashmir, the state's School Education department today inked an agreement with the Centre that is aimed at overhauling the syllabi and encouraging more schools to get CBSE affiliations.
Broadly bordering on the contours outlined by Gen Rawat, the agreement was signed today in New Delhi by J&K School Education Secretary Farooq Ahmed Shah and Union Human Resource Development Secretary Anil Swarup in presence of Syed Altaf Bukhari.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018Netanyahu in Delhi, India signs nine agreements with Israel

NEW DELHI: India and Israel on Monday exchanged nine agreements for cooperation in different areas including cyber security, oil and gas, space and science and technology, civil aviation, information and broadcasting and health.
The agreements were exchanged after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in New Delhi.
During the talks, both the leaders discussed host of issues including defence cooperation, trade, innovation, counter terrorism, agriculture and water harvesting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said discussion


Tuesday, January 16, 2018Noisy scenes in Assembly after members spar

JAMMU: Massive pandemonium broke out in the Legislative Assembly today after two National Conference legislators entered into heated argument with Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu prompting his colleagues from treasury benches to react vociferously.
Towards the end of day's business, the legislators of the opposition and the ruling PDP-BJP traded barbs over the issue of alleged malpractices in recruitments for Special Police Officers (SPO) and the J&K Bank in the Budget Session of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.
Minutes before the closure of the day's business, National Conference legislator


Tuesday, January 16, 2018DeMo, GST crippled unorganised sectors of economy: Tarigami

JAMMU: Veteran legislator M Y Tarigami of the CPI(M) said today that demonetisation and implementation of GST crippled the unorganised sector of the economy in Jammu and Kashmir.
Initiating a discussion on the Budget in the Assembly here, he alleged that the two steps only led to "job losses", contrary to the government claims that the measures helped in curbing corruption and blackmoney.
"The implementation of GST, which was introduced with much fanfare, has not only increased burdens on the people but has also undermined the federal structure," Tarigami alleged.
"GST put new burdens on p


Tuesday, January 16, 2018Commotion in House over General's education remarks

JAMMU: Protests rocked Jammu and Kashmir Assembly over the remarks of Army chief as the opposition National Conference created ruckus and staged walk out from the House demanding statement from the government over the issue.
Rawat had on Friday said social media and government schools in the state were spreading a "disinformation campaign" resulting in radicalisation of youths.
In his statement, he had also called for "some control" over mosques and madrassas in the state and suggested a "major revamp" of the education system.
As the house assembled for the day, members of NC stood up and


Tuesday, January 16, 2018It's a chillar budget, says Sagar


JAMMU: Senior National Conference legislator, Ali Mohammad Sagar today tore apart the Finance Minister Dr Hasseb A Drabu's claim of presenting a budget of "heart and conscious" as he believed that the fourth budget of the Finance Minister was a "Chillar Budget."
"This budget has a spending share for most of the departments in between Rs 1 to 2.5 crore. So, for me, it is a Chillar Budget," Sagar said while participating in the budget discussion.
Sagar also termed the 2018-19 Budget as anti-poor, anti-youth and most "theoretical one" in the history of the State.
He said that


Tuesday, January 16, 2018Kichloo marshalled out after protest

Jammu: National Conference (NC) legislator Sajad Ahmed Kitchloo today was marshalled out from the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council after he trooped into the well of the House over an "unsatisfactory reply" in connection with the power issue.
Angry over his marshalling out of the house, the NC and Congress members staged a walkout, alleging that the opposition voice was being suppressed.
During the Question Hour in the upper house, Kitchloo had asked a supplementary question about halting of the construction of a few power projects in Kishtwar district.
Minister of State for Power


Tuesday, January 16, 2018800 acres of Waqf land encroached

JAMMU: The government today said nearly 800 acres of Waqf board land has been encroached in this region.
Around 800 acres (6,300 kanals) of land belonging to Waqf board has been encroached by various individuals and government organisations in the region, Minister for Haj and Auqaf Abdul Rehman Veeri said in a written reply to the question of PDP member Firdous Ahmed Tak in the Legislative Council.
The eviction process under the Waqf Act has already been initiated against the private encroachers, he said, adding that some of the occupants have approached the court challenging the eviction


Tuesday, January 16, 2018Srinagar: 30,000 dog bites in 6 years

JAMMU: The government today said 30,711 dog bite cases have been reported in Srinagar during the last six years.
Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Asiea Naqash told the Legislative Council that 30,711 dog bite cases were registered at an anti-rabies clinic at the SMHC hospital in Srinagar from 2012-13 to 2017-18 up to September.
She was replying to the call attention motion of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLC Zafar Iqbal Manhas.
Of these 7,000 cases were registered in 2012-13, followed by 6,041 cases in 2013-14, 4,917 cases in 2014-15, 5,100 cases in 2015-16, 5,120 ca


Monday, January 15, 2018Reminding promises of yore, Mehbooba urges Pak to help end bloodshed in J&K

Asks cops to undertake parenting, be more humane while policing

JAMMU: Reiterating that people of Jammu and Kashmir have been the worst victims of bitter relations between India and Pakistan, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday reminded Pakistan about the promise its former president Pervez Musharraf had made to former prime minister AB Vajpayee to maintain peace along the borders, while urging it to extend help in ending the bloodshed in the state.


Monday, January 15, 2018FB, Twitter helped improving security situation: DGP Vaid

JAMMU: Asserting that the state police have been successful in managing the misuse of social media to fuel unrest in Valley in past, the Director General of Police S P Vaid on Sunday said that Police's rejuvenated outreach to public through Facebook and Twitter in recent past has not only countered the propaganda of subversive elements but has also helped the force to improve the security situation in the state.
Underlining the efforts made in this regard by Police as part of a larger mission aimed at restoring peace and normalcy in the Jammu and Kashmir, the state police Chief said t


Monday, January 15, 2018Crisis will sort out soon: CJI tells BCI

NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra today assured a Bar Council of India delegation that the crisis in the Supreme Court resulting from a virtual revolt against him by four colleagues will be sorted out soon, the council chief said.
Also today, the son of special CBI judge B H Loya said in Mumbai that his father died of natural causes and not in suspicious circumstances. Loya's death, while he was hearing the politically sensitive Shohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, is the subject of a PIL in the Supreme Court that was one of the triggers for the revolt against Misra.
The Ind


Monday, January 15, 2018‘Politico-military’ approach to bring peace in J&K: Rawat

‘Army can't be status-quoist, Pak to face more heat’

JAMMU: Underlining the need of a "politico-military" approach in dealing with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday has called for political initiative to go hand-in-hand with military operations in the state for bringing peace in the state.
Gen Rawat also asserted that there was room for ramping up heat on Pakistan to cut the flow of cross border terror activities, and said that the armed forces in the state cannot be 'status quoist' and must evolve new strategies and tactics to deal with the situation.
"The political initiative and all the other init


Monday, January 15, 2018Cold wave continues

JAMMU: The cold wave continued in all the three regions of the state on Sunday with Jammu city recording 5.4 degrees Celsius, while biting winter continued its sway on the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region with the weather office giving no indication of any immediate relief.
In Jammu region, while Jammu city recorded minimum temperature at 5.4 degrees Celsius last night, Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine base camp of Katra recorded 6.4 degrees Celsius, Batote 3.7 degrees Celsius, Bannihil minus 0.6 degree Celsius, Bhaderwah 1 degree Celsius and Udhampur 1.6 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperatures


Monday, January 15, 2018State, Central deptts, security forces among PDD’s defaulters

PHE tops with Rs 1035 Cr of total Rs 1882 Cr outstanding


JAMMU: The Power Development Department (PDD)’s unpaid dues amounting up to Rs 1882 Cr across the state this year come from none other than the state and central government departments, the amount rising year after year due to non-payment of electric tariff by these defaulters.
Of the outstanding amount, Rs 1080.83 Crore stand outstanding in Jammu region while Rs 802.00 Crore is from Kashmir, the figures being latest by October 2017.
Out of the total Rs 1882.83 Crore, Public Health Engineering tops the chart with over half of the arrears pending against the department, ru


Monday, January 15, 2018No enhancement in funds for patients even as J&K sees steady rise in Cancer


JAMMU: Even as it admitted that the number of cancer patients has been on a rise with as many as 26,201 patients treated in the State in last four years, the government has shrugged its shoulders on enhancing the funds for treatment of poor cancer patients under Corpus Fund Scheme launched way back by former Chief Minister Late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.
It is rather unusual that while it is accepting the increase in number of cancer patients in Jammu and Kashmir in past 4 years, the government is reluctant to enhance in same proportions the amount of Rs One Crore as Corpus Fu


Monday, January 15, 2018Post ex-gratia relief hike, now J&K cops demand concession in airfare

Parity with Central Armed Forces


JAMMU: A month after Ministry of Home Affairs brought in line with the Centre Armed forces, the total ex-gratia relief given to J&K Police personnel, a new demand for concession of airfare to the State cops at par with the army and other paramilitary forces has now been raised.
Official sources informed The News Now that the Jammu and Kashmir Police Personnel are likely to get airfare concessions at par with the Army and other paramilitary forces as a communiqué in this connection has been mooted to the Police Headquarters (PHQ) by the IGP Kashmir Munir Khan.
"For past thi


Monday, January 15, 2018Another IED defused, second within 24 hours

SRINAGAR: Security forces on Sunday averted a major tragedy when they detected and defused a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED), planted by militants in the city outskirts on Srinagar-Bandipora road.
This was the second IED detected and defused by the security forces in city outskirts during the past 24 hours.
The IED has been defused and traffic has now been restored on the road, official sources said adding no one was injured but window panes of a shopping complex were damaged due to the impact of the blast, sound of which was heard in the entire area.
Sources said that Army, par


Sunday, January 14, 2018I will not accept sermons from Army: Bukhari retaliates Rawat

Remark inappropriate, will compound alienation, uncertainty: Tarigami

JAMMU: Taking strong exception to Army chief General Bipin Rawat's remark of J&K government schools spreading a 'disinformation campaign', leading to radicalization of youth, the state government on Saturday asserted that the Army's "meddling" in the state's affairs was unacceptable.
"Everyone has his own domain. Those who have no link to education are talking about it. It is not a fair comment and we do not accept it," Bukhari said.
Asserting that the state's students and teachers were very efficient, and 'some have topped the IAS exam', Bukhari said while the state's education


Sunday, January 14, 2018Jawan martyred as Pak breaches truce along LoC

JAMMU: An Army jawan on Saturday attained martyrdom in unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops as the neighbouring country violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district, on the auspicious occasion of Lohri.
In what was second instance of breaching the truce along the LoC by Pakistani troops in as many days, the Indian posts came under unprovoked firing from across the fence in the Sunderbani sector, prompting the Indian troops guarding the LoC to retaliate strongly and effectively, an Army spokesman said.
The indiscriminate shelling, however, resulted into injurie


Sunday, January 14, 20185-kg IED defused

SRINAGAR: Averting a major tragedy, security forces on Saturday defused an improvised explosive device (IED), weighing approximately five kilogrammes, on Srinagar-Baramulla highway. The IED was found in HMT area of Srinagar this morning, a police official said. The official said the area was cordoned off and traffic was diverted. A bomb disposal squad was rushed to the spot, which defused the explosive device, the official said.
Terrorists often trigger IED blasts to target security forces in the region. While the explosive device was defused successfully, the second such instance with


Sunday, January 14, 2018Are government employees a new constituency for Mehbooba, Drabu?

JAMMU: If all goes well, the general elections are three years away from now, but if there is a snap poll any time soon, some four million people, nearly one-third of state's entire population are on Mehbooba Mufti's side.
It is a coalition government of PDP and BJP but the way Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and her Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu are reaching out to the government employees and the pensioners, besides the workers in organised and unorganised sector, looks 'politically remarkable'. Over the past few months, the government has remained focused on wooing the employees, around 4


Sunday, January 14, 2018J&K leads way with 75% implementation


JAMMU: In a major achievement, the Jammu and Kashmir has achieved a target of 75 per cent, more than any other state in the country, in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), a Centrally-sponsored scheme aimed at safeguarding the health of women and children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel LPG.
Out of 4.90 lakh total eligible applicants, the state government has provided free LPG gas connections to 3.70 lakh BPL households in the state, thus covering more than three-fourth of the beneficiaries. This was informed by Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consum


Sunday, January 14, 2018No display of PIO's info, monitoring of complaints on outdated website

SHRC violating J&K RTI Act

SRINAGAR: Though it on daily basis issues recommendations to the government on rights violations of the citizens, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) conveniently forgets the fundamental right of the Constitution- Right to Information Act, which the commission itself has been violating.
In clear violation of Section 4 of Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, the SHRC is yet to update its website to display information about the Act depriving people of the necessary information about the Public Information Officers (PIO), Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO), besides from as


Sunday, January 14, 2018Govt does away with fee waiver for girl students

SRINAGAR: Initiated with much enthusiasm, terming it as a step towards ensuring inclusion of girls under the ambit of school education, the state government had backtracked on the commitment of providing free admission for female students in the government-run schools, withdrawing the policy less than two years since its implementation. While the discontinuation of admission fee waiver was announced by Education Minister in the first week of this month, the scrapping of the policy was confirmed as the same was not announced in the Budget 2018-19, which was presented in the Assembly on Thursd


Sunday, January 14, 2018No crisis: Rebel SC judges reject outside intervention

SCBA for full court consideration of matter

NEW DELHI: Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the four Supreme Court judges who virtually revolted against the chief justice, today said there was no need for an outside intervention to solve the issue, while the apex court bar body called for a full court consideration of the matter.
Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who was also among the four judges, said, "There is no crisis," when asked about the way forward to resolve the crisis in the top court. Justice Joseph said the matter was not brought to the attention of the President of India as he has no constitutional responsibility over the Supreme Court or


Sunday, January 14, 2018Warning not SC's internal matter: Omar

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that warning by four senior most judges of Supreme Court (SC) that democracy is in danger was not an internal matter of the Apex court and the issue should concern every single Indian.
However, the working president of the main opposition National Conference (NC) said meeting of D Raja with one of the four Judges Chelameswar was hasty and ill considered move.
Taking to micro-blogging site twitter, Abdullah said, 'Democracy in India is in danger. This was the warning that came from the Hon Judges yesterday.


Sunday, January 14, 2018Minor injured after unexploded bomb goes off in Poonch

JAMMU: A 15-year-old boy was critically injured by an unexploded bomb that went off near the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district on Saturday.
Mohammad Iqbal (15), a resident of Shahpur, found the bomb in an open field near Qasba village around 11:45 am and started fiddling with it, causing the explosion, a police official said.
"The boy suffered critical injuries with both his hands blown up. He was rushed to hospital and his condition is stated to be 'critical'," an official said.
The bomb, apparently a mortar fired by Pakistan during cross-border shelling in the recent past, had


Sunday, January 14, 2018Valley records sub-zero temp, Leh freezes

SRINAGAR: The minimum temperature in Leh town plummeted several degrees as the cold wave tightened its grip in Kashmir Valley, where the mercury was recorded below the freezing point at all weather monitoring stations.
Leh, in Ladakh region, had experienced an improvement in temperature the previous night when the mercury rose nearly six degrees to settle at a low of minus 7.7 degrees Celsius.
However, the cold wave tightened its grip again and the minimum temperature dropped over seven degrees last night. The town recorded a low of -15.0C, a Met department official said.
Leh was the c


Sunday, January 14, 2018Pak intruder shot dead in Amritsar

CHANDIGARH: A Pakistani intruder was shot dead by the Border Security Force along the Indo-Pak border in Amritsar sector when he crossed over to the Indian territory, an official said today.
The Ex-17 battalion of the BSF observed suspicious movement of an intruder at Border Outpost Rear Kakkar about 7:55 pm yesterday. "The troops warned the intruder. However, he kept on moving towards the border fence in aggressive posture. The BSF troops then opened fire and killed him," a BSF official said.
"About 600 Pakistani rupee was recovered from the intruder," he said.
The body of the intrud


Sunday, January 14, 2018CASO in Anantnag

SRINAGAR: Security forces on Saturday evening launched a cordon and search operation (CASO) in Walerhama Pahalgam village of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The officials said that acting on a specific information, 42 Rashtriya Rifles and special operation group of Jammu and Kashmir police started the search operation in the area. Sources said that massive deployment of forces had been made in and around the village and house to house searches in the village was in progress, till the filing of this report.


Saturday, January 13, 2018UNPRECEDENTED: 4 SC judges express anguish, virtual revolt against CJI

JAMMU: In a move unprecedented in the history of Indian judiciary, four senior judges of Supreme Court- nonetheless all of them sitting members of the Apex Court Collegium which along with CJI selects judges for the higher judiciary, expressed their 'anguish and concern' while mounting a virtual revolt against the country's chief justice, raising questions on "selective" case allocation and certa


Saturday, January 13, 2018Public representatives to drive J&K out of troubles: Mehbooba

Pitches for better Indo-Pak ties, using 'geography' to write a new 'history'

JAMMU: Strongly advocating dialogue to sort out issues, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today underscored the role of public representatives in redressing issues of the State and getting it out of difficulties, besides pitching strongly for re-opening all historic routes in the State, reiterating that Jammu & Kashmir can become a gateway to Central Asia, while stressing on the need for dialogue between India and Pakistan saying that it is Jammu & Kashmir which bears the brunt of hostility between the two neighbouring countries.
Replying to the discussion on Motion of Thanks on Governor's Addr


Saturday, January 13, 2018'Drabu a fantastic Dream Merchant'

Rana leads the charge as Budget discussed in LA

JAMMU: Taking jibe at Finance Minister, main opposition NC's Devender Singh Rana with his concise words, took a sharp attack on Dr Haseeb Drabu, calling him a fine dream merchant, while leading the charge of general discussion in Legislative Assembly on Budget 2018-19 presented by latter a day before.
Speaking on the Budget 2018-19, Rana said that Dr Drabu was a "fantastic dream seller."
"Mr Drabu has done nothing as Finance Minister but sold dreams only. This Budget is a fabulous fiction and Mr Drabu is the finest dream seller. He comes out with fantastic poetic ideas every year but poet


Saturday, January 13, 2018'Maintain House's sanctity'

The second sitting of Legislative Assembly saw Devender Singh Rana lodging a strong protest with Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Abdul Rehman Veeri over absence of Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb A Drabu and most of the PDP-BJP legislators from the House i for around 15 minutes, asking him to maintain the sanctity of the house. At exact 3 pm, NC's Nagrota Constituency legislator, Rana reached the house along with the BJP State President and MLA Jammu West, Sat Pal Sharma. Parliamentary Affairs Minister, AR Veeri was already in the house.
Finding Speaker, Finance Minister as well as most of t


Saturday, January 13, 2018‘Times have changed’

Omar comes to journalists' rescue after Dy Speaker bans using mobile phones in Assembly

JAMMU: In a departure from the usual attacks made by the government and the opposition against each other, the first sitting of Legislative Assembly witnessed Leader of Opposition Omar Abdullah, coming out in support of journalists present in the press gallery, minutes after Deputy Speaker Nazir Gurezi, irked by some scribes using mobile phones to transmit the proceedings of the house in live-time to their concerned newspapers/ channels, banned the journalists to carry mobiles inside the house, which was ultimately withdrawn.
Even as his colleague Devender Rana was first to object to Gurezi


Saturday, January 13, 201851 died, 9042 wounded in 8 month-long Kashmir unrest

JAMMU: The Kashmir unrest of 2016 which affected the Valley most in recent past after 2014 floods left 9042 people wounded, 368 by bullets, 6221 by pellet guns, 4 by PAVA shells during the eight-month long period between July 8, 2016 and February 27, 2017, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti who is also in-charge of the Home Department, told the Legislative Assembly today.
She said that 2449 people received other forms of injuries. Mehbooba said this in reply to a starred question of National Conference MLA, Mubarak Gull.
The Chief Minister told the LA that 782 people received injuries in their e


Saturday, January 13, 2018Probe initiated in missing weapons of J&K Police

JAMMU: Taking notice of numerous complaints regarding scores of the official weapons missing from police records including lethal guns like AK 47 and AK 57, the State Police has ordered constitution of the audit committee with Senior Superintendents of Police(SSPs) being asked to conduct probe in this serious matter. The issue of missing weapons came to light after Superintendent of Police Anantnag raised issue that some weapons have been found missing in their records.
Official sources said that the cops under transfer have to take No Demand Certificate (NDC) from concerned district SPs af


Saturday, January 13, 2018Revamping edu, control over mosques, madrasas in J&K need of hour: Rawat

'Will inflict pain on Pak Army for supporting terror, focus on South Kashmir now'

JAMMU: Claiming that government schools and social media in Jammu and Kashmir are spreading a 'disinformation campaign' resulting in radicalisation of youth, Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday called for 'some control' over mosques and madrasas in the state.
Asserting that a 'major revamp' of the education system was needed in J&K to deal with the problem, Gen Rawat also said that the issue of exercising some amount of control over mosques and madrasas to check the flow of disinformation was being looked into.
Rawat also opposed the practice of the students of the government schools i


Saturday, January 13, 2018SKIMS: 3 Doctors' suspension, Director's attachment ratified

JAMMU: A day after State High Court stayed the attachment order of Director Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Prof. A G Ahangar, the Governing Body of the premier health institution of the Valley today ratified Ahangar's attachment, besides the action taken against three faculty members for indulging in private practice.
The Governing Body also directed SKIMS to institute a full-fledged inquiry in terms of the relevant rules, besides ratifying the decision of entrusting Prof. Omar Javed Shah, Head, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology with the charge of the Director an


Saturday, January 13, 2018NIA's chargesheet next week, after MHA's sanction to tougher terror law

Terror Funding

JAMMU: The National Investigation Agency is likely to file a chargesheet against seven Kashmiri separatists including son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and a businessman in the case of terror funding in the Kashmir Valley, as it awaits sanction from the Ministry of Home Affairs for prosecution of accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, a much tough law than the previous law in course.
The NIA on Friday told a Delhi Court that it will file final report in the case next week, even as the court extended till January 18 the judicial custody of accuse


Saturday, January 13, 20189 KAS among 17 reshuffled

JAMMU: In yet another round of reshuffling of the middle-rung administration, the state government on Friday affected transfers and postings of 17 officers, including 9 KAS officers.
The KAS officers which were shifted included Hamida Akhter, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Srinagar (East), who was transferred and posted as Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Bandipora, vice Masarat Hashim, who in turn was transferred and posted as Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Srinagar, against an available vacancy; Ghulam Rasool Wani, Collector, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, Srinagar, transferred


Saturday, January 13, 2018CM hopes AMU student's return

JAMMU: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today expressed hope that the AMU student who is said to have joined Hizbul Mujahideen would return home and continue his studies. The chief minister made the comments while announcing an amnesty scheme for the first-time stone pelters during the motion of thanks on the governor's address in the state Legislative Council.
Mannan Bashir Wani, a resident of Kupwara district who was pursuing his PhD in applied geology from Aligarh Muslim University was last seen at the campus on January 2. A photograph purportedly depicting him wielding arms appeared on


Saturday, January 13, 2018Terrorist attack police post in Shopian, no loss

SRINAGAR: Terrorists on late Friday evening attacked the joint party of police and CRPF near police station Keegam in restive Shopian district, creating panic among the locals.
The incident took place in the Keegam Village of the district, an official said, adding that Police personnel responded to the firing.
There was no loss of life reported in the incident, he said, adding that the area was cordoned off and security forces were carrying out searches to track down the terrorists.


Saturday, January 13, 2018Jawan injured as Pak breaches LoC

JAMMU: The Pakistani troops once again violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Poonch district on Friday, resulting in injuries to an Army jawan. Official sources informed that Pakistan started unprovoked firing in Malti area of Poonch district in which an army jawan posted in the forward post sustained splinter injuries. Sources said that the injured soldier, who has been identified as Havildar Pushkar singh of Gorkha Rifles, was air lifted to Udhampur Army Hospital.
Singh has got splinter injuries in the abdomen and is currently under treatment.
The ceasefire violation wa


Saturday, January 13, 2018Terrorist not a martyr: Jitendra

JAMMU: Union Minister Jitendra Singh today tried to play down the "Kashmiri militants are martyrs" remarks of a PDP MLA, calling it a "stray comment" and said the government was firm on its stand against terrorism. Aijaz Ahmed Mir stoked a controversy yesterday when he described Kashmiri militants shot dead in encounters with security forces as "martyrs" and "brothers" and also cautioned against glorifying their killings.
"If a stray comment is made by a stray person, it is not to be given any importance. But as far as we are concerned, a terrorist is a terrorist and a terrorist only," S