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J&K ground situation improves despite Pakistan’s sinister agenda

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BJP leaders hoist the tricolour while celebrating the one year of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, in Srinagar on Wednesday. ANI

One year after the abrogation of Article 370, the ground situation in jammu & Kashmir has seen a perceptible improvement. One parameter is to see the number of terrorists operating in the Valley. The strength of terrorists in Kashmir is now below 200, the security forces said on Wednesday.

Local recruitment has decreased significantly and now it is primarily limited to four districts of South Kashmir, said a senior intelligence officer adding that there has been serious blow to nefarious designs of Pakistan to ‘indigenise’ the movement and fuel unrest in the Valley.

 The security situation in the Valley has witnessed progressive improvement since Abrogation of Article 370, said the officer.

The officer pointed out that on one hand the tempo of kinetic operations in the hinterland ensured denial of operational space to terrorist tanzeems, at the same time, high level of alertness by troops along the Line of Control ensured Pakistan’s endeavours to infiltrate terrorists into the Valley were blunted.

In the hinterland, Pakistan-backed terrorists are resorting to targeting innocent civilians with an aim to coerce them into following their Azadi narrative.

But domination of hinterland by security forces had a crippling effect on the terrorist tanzeems and resultantly their ability to undertake terror incidents was degraded.

 This year, only 70 terrorrelated minor incidents have been reported as compared to 107 in the same period last year. “In addition, six attempts of IED blast were foiled in the current year as a result of pro-activeness,” said a senior government officer in North Block. “Our aim has been to provide a secure environment to the Awaam which has been suffering for the last three decades due to violence,” said the officer. The reduction of the number of terrorists and crippling of their networks is providing that opportunity to the Awaam and we have witnessed reduction in protests significantly as compared to 2018-19. “

Attempts of inimical elements to mislead people by running disinformation campaigns were also defeated by proactively monitoring the situation and engaging with the local population, said the officer.

Robust operations in the kinetic domain and proactive measures in the non-kinetic domain have ensured maintenance of peace and normal civic life in the Valley.

There is a high level of synergy while conducting operations. “Our jawans and commanders are operating relentlessly battling the dual challenges of Pakistan abetting terror and the global pandemic,” the officer said.

Synergised conduct of hard intelligence based counter terror operations resulted in significant successes in the past one year.

Terror attempts defeated

This year alone 136 hard core terrorists have been neutralised (till July 28) by the security forces in hinterland which include 14 Pakistani terrorists and senior leaders of Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaishe-Mohammed and Lashkare-Taiba.

Attempts to spread the violence to the Doda region was also defeated by proactively neutralizing the terrorists. Since August 2019, seven terrorists have been killed in Doda and Kishtwar.

Along the Line of Control, Indian troops ensured that Pakistan’s design of infiltrating more terrorists or smuggle weapons was defeated. The counter infiltration grid has been strengthened North of Pir Panjal Ranges. “Message to Pakistan was also very clear with reference to nontolerance of support to terror activities,” the officer said.The officer also stated that it was unfortunate that when the world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan has resorted to firing heavy calibre artillery and killing of innocent Kashmiris to garner international attention.

High infiltration attempts

Infiltration attempts are still very high indicating complicity of the Pakistan Army and nefarious designs. Intelligence reports suggest that all launch pads across the Line of Control are active.

“Our armed forces will give proportionate response to all acts of infringement of Ceasefire and his support to terrorism. The onus remains with Pakistan to bring peace in the region. Unless Pakistan gives up its policy of state sponsored terrorism, we will continue to respond with impunity and precision,” said a senior Defence Ministry officer.

This year 2,662 instances of ceasefire violation by Pakistan were reported till July 30.

Pakistan’s efforts towards projecting ‘genocide in Kashmir Valley’ in the eyes of comity of nations and concomitantly fuel unrest in the Valley have not been successful so far.

Local residents have given a very clear signal of desire to lead peaceful lives. A fresh impetus from Pakistan to disrupt peace in the Valley and bring international attention to Jammu and Kashmir is likely. “Own troops remain prepared to deal with all such misadventures by Pakistan,” the defence ministry officer stated. The people of the Valley must see through the duplicity of Pakistani motive based on lies and deceit.

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Citing Pakistan, China, IAF says need more fighter aircraft

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Citing Pakistan, China, IAF says need more fighter aircraft

Citing the increasing number of fighter aircraft in the Chinese and Pakistan air forces, the Indian Air Force on Tuesday said it would need more combat aircraft to meet security challenges. 

“The environment around us remains hostile and there would be a requirement for 42 squadrons of fighter aircraft by the Indian Air Force. We have to see the case of China and Pakistan also,” Indian Air Force Vice Chief Air Marshal Sandeep Singh said. He was speaking at a press conference where he was asked whether the IAF could lower its authorised squadron strength number from 42. 

The IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said the aircraft numbers authorised to the force were as per the requirement in view of the security challenges.
IAF is authorised to have 42 squadrons which would mean around 800 fighter aircraft but at present it is stuck at 30 squadrons only due to delays in the development of the LCA Tejas as well as in the procurement of high-ability multirole fighters. 

The situation is going to worsen further with the planned decommissioning of the MiG-21s in near future and all squadrons of Jaguar, Mirage-2000 and MiG-29 fighters by the middle of the next decade.  The IAF has plans of inducting around 200 LCAs and 114 multirole fighters in the next 15 years along with six squadrons of Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.
Pakistan which has to defend borders mainly with India only has around 25 squadrons of combat aircraft while the Chinese Air Force has a large number of aircraft including fifth generation fighters like J-20. 

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Parliamentary panel rejig: BJP takes Home, Sena gets IT committee, TMC left out

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Parliamentary panel rejig: BJP takes Home, Sena gets IT committee, TMC left out

A major reshuffle took place in the Parliamentary panels on Tuesday as Congress lost the Home and the crucial Information Technology and Communications panels among others. According to an official notification, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi who headed the Home panel was replaced by BJP Rajya Sabha MP and former DGP of Uttar Pradesh Brij Lal who has been named as the new chair. 

Another loss for the grand old party is losing the committee for IT which was chaired by Lok Sabha MP Dr Shashi Tharoor. The Eknath Shinde-led faction of Shiv Sena now has its chairmanship in three-time Lok Sabha MP Prataprao Jadhav.
The Standing Committee for Environment and Forests is currently with the Congress party. Jairam Ramesh remains its chairman. 

Professor Ram Gopal Yadav from the Samajwadi party, who had been holding the post for a long time as chairman of the Health Committee, has been replaced by BJP MP Bhubaneshwar Kalita. 

It will be the gain of a committee for DMK as the party has the chairmanship of the Industry Committee with Tiruchi Siva as chief. YSR Congress which had earlier had Commerce has swapped for the big Transport Tourism & Aviation Committee with Vijaysai Reddy as chief. 

The panel on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports will now be chaired by BJP MP Vivek Thakur after its earlier chairman Dr Vinay Shahastrabuddhe retired.

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It’s ‘celebration’ time: TRS leader distributes liquor ahead of launch of KCR’s national party

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It’s ‘celebration’ time: TRS leader distributes liquor ahead of launch of KCR’s national party

Amid the buzz over Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao announcing his national party on Wednesday, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Rajanala Srihari distributed liquor bottles and chicken to locals in Warangal. 

In a video, Srihari is seen distributing liquor bottles and chicken to the people who are waiting in a long queue for their turn. There are also large cutouts of TRS chief KCR and his son and minister KT Rama Rao where Srihari is distributing the chicken and liquor bottles. 

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) can announce the national party on Wednesday. All preparations have also been made regarding this. 

Amid this, the shocking video of the TRS leader has surfaced. The new party has not been announced yet, even before TRS leader Rajnala Srihari was seen distributing liquor bottles and cock to the local people in Warangal. 

The act invited widespread criticism from the political fraternity. Slamming KCR, Congress leader Madhu Yashki called the Chief Minister a “brand ambassador of liquor”. Making it too personal, he alleged that KCR is “known for his drinking habits”. 

Yashki alleged that KCR is trying to make the people and youth of the state “addicted to liquor and drugs”. “KCR is a brand ambassador of liquor. He not only drinks liquor but is also involved in the liquor scam. So this establishes that the TRS party supremo is known for his drinking habits. His passion for drinking and the way he is promoting liquor sales in Telangana. Instead of giving jobs, he is distributing liquor,” he said.

According to the sources, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is likely to announce his national party on the occasion of Dussehra. TRS party’s meeting will be held on Dussehra, 5 October at Telangana Bhavan, an official release from K.Chandrashekar Rao’s office said on Monday. 

So there are speculations that KCR, may reveal the details of his approach toward national politics after the meeting. It is also believed that a delegation of TRS party leaders will leave for Delhi to change the name of the party. According to the sources, it is also believed that KCR will be addressing a public gathering on October 9 in the national capital. 

TRS leader and former SAAP Director Rajanala Srihari on Tuesday distributed liquor and chicken to the poor on the occasion Of Dussehra in the Warangal East constituency.

TRS leader bought 200 chicken and 200 liquor bottles for distribution. He then distributed them to 200 porters. Srihari and his team called the porters for a gathering where cutouts of Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao and state IT & Industries Minister. KT Rama Rao were erected as they received free chicken and liquor bottles.

Srihari said that prayers will be offered on the occasion of Dussehra for Chief Minister KCR to become the national party president. 

He further said that special pujas were offered for KCR to become the Prime Minister and KTR to become the state party president.

CM KCR is likely to announce the details of his national agenda on the occasion of Dussehra. 

Also, KCR on Monday clarified that the TRS General Body meeting would be held on Dussehra (October 5) at 11 AM in Telangana Bhavan.

According to the sources, it’s strongly believed that CM KCR will announce the name of his national party on the occasion of Dussehra. 

There are speculations that KCR may reveal the details of his approach to national politics after the meeting.

 It is also believed that a delegation of TRS party leaders will leave for Delhi to change the name of the party. 

According to the sources, KCR will address a public gathering on October 9 in Delhi.

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Centre declares two top HuM members as terrorist under UAPA

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Centre declares two top HuM members as terrorist under UAPA

The Centre on Tuesday declared two top Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen (HuM) terrorists including the Chief Launching Commander of the terror outfit Showkat Ahmed Sheikh as terrorist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 on charges of spreading terror violence in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Another active member of HuM, Imtiyaz Ahmad Kandoo, was also declared as terrorist under the UAPA for “radicalizing and motivating youths to join terrorist ranks to carry out terror activities in the Kashmir Valley”. 

Born in 1970 in Ganie Hamam area in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla, Showkat alias Showkat Mochi, son of Ghulam Nabi Sheikh, is presently based in Pakistan. Showkat is also accused of his involvement in “coordinating infiltration and recruitment of terrorists and execution of terror attacks owing to his deep network of associates in North Kashmir”. 

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notification issued on Tuesday said, the Central government declared Showkat Ahmed Sheik as a terrorist. 

“The Central Government believes that Showkat Ahmad Sheikh alias Showkat Mochi is involved in terrorism and he is to be notified as a terrorist under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.”

Kandoo alias Sajad alias Fayaz Sopore, a resident of Kraltang, Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir, is presently based in Pakistan. Kandoo is also accused of his involvement in “managing finances for the terrorists, supply of arms and ammunition to terrorists and narcotics smuggling”. 

He is also charged with “coordinating attacks on security forces and civilians, in which many security forces personnel and civilians were killed” in Jammu and Kashmir.  

“The Central government believes that Imtiyaz Ahmad Kandoo is involved in terrorism and he is to be notified as terrorist under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967,” reads the notification.

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One arrested for killing J&K DG Prisons Lohia

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One arrested for killing J&K DG Prisons Lohia

The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday apprehended Yasir Ahmed, the prime accused in the murder of the Director General of Prisons, H.K. Lohia who was found dead under suspicious circumstances in a house in the Udaywala area of Jammu. 

“In a major manhunt launched by Jammu and Kashmir police throughout the night, the accused involved in the murder case of DG Prison, Hemant Lohia has been apprehended,” Mukesh Singh, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), J-K said. 

DG Prison Lohia was found dead under suspicious circumstances in a house in the Udaywala area of Jammu on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. Initial examination revealed this as a suspected murder case, according to the police. The body of Hemant Lohia, DG Prisons Jammu and Kashmir, was found under suspicious circumstances. First Examination of the scene of crime reveals this as a suspected murder case, said J-K police. 

A search has been initiated for the absconding domestic help of the officer.
Forensic and crime teams are on the spot and a probe is underway.

Earlier, the ADGP had informed that the accused, who worked as domestic help with Lohia was on the run and they have recovered the murder weapon. Besides, “a diary of the accused has also been found, which reflects his depressed mental state,” he added. 

Singh had also said that so far no terror act is apparent but a thorough probe into the matter is on to rule out any possibility. 

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh informed that Lohia had been staying at his friend’s place for the past few days. “He (H.K. Lohia) had been staying at his friend’s house for the past few days. After having dinner, he went back to his room. The domestic helper was inside his room on the pretext of helping him with some ailment,” Singh said. 

“The helper then latched the door from inside and attacked him several times with a sharp weapon, and also tried to suffocate him. The accused as per history is an aggressive, unstable person. His pictures have been issued in the media and hunt for him is on,” the DGP added.  The J-K administration has also warned against uncorroborated stories allegedly spread regarding the murder of Lohia.

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8-month-old, parents among 4 Indian-origin abducted in U.S.

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8-month-old, parents among 4 Indian-origin abducted in U.S.

An 8-month-old infant, among 4 Indians was kidnapped on Monday (local time) in California.

A case of abduction of 4 Indians has been reported in the United States. The victims include an 8-month-old infant and they were abducted from Merced County in California on Monday (local time), authorities said.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office in a statement identified the kidnapped persons as 36-year-old Jasdeep Singh, 27-year-old Jasleen Kaur, their eight-month-old child Aroohi Dheri, and 39-year-old Amandeep Singh, reported ABC 10.

The police have identified the suspect as armed and dangerous. Police said that the four were taken against their will from a business in the 800 block of South Highway 59, reported ABC 30. The site of the alleged abduction is a roadway lined with retailers and restaurants.

However, not much detail about the incident has been released as the investigation is in its early stages.  NBC News reported that officials have not named a suspect or a possible motive.

But the sheriff’s office released a photo of the suspect. “He is described as a light-complected male with a shaved head. He was last seen wearing a hoodie. “We consider the suspect to be armed and dangerous,” a Facebook post by the Sheriff’s Office stated, as the authorities advised the general public not to approach the man and to call 911 if they are seen.

In 2019, another kidnapping incident was reported where an Indian-origin techie, Tushar Atre was found dead in his girlfriend’s car hours after the owner of a digital marketing company in the US was allegedly kidnapped from his posh California home.

Additionally, the investigating authorities have not been able to identify a possible motive behind the abduction but released a photograph of the suspect on the Twitter handle of Merced County Sheriff’s Office.   

 “He is described as a light-complexed male with a shaved head. He was last seen wearing a hoodie. We consider the suspect to be armed and dangerous,” a Facebook post by the Sheriff’s Office stated as the authorities advised the general public not to approach the man. 

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