Pakistan Not In Position To Do Much After Abrogation Of Article 370, Says Afghan Situation Raises New Security Questions: Rajnath

Pakistan Not In Position To Do Much After Abrogation Of Article 370, Says Afghan Situation Raises New Security Questions: Rajnath

Chandigarh: The current happenings in Afghanistan have raised new security questions, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, adding that the government is alert and no anti-national force should be allowed to encourage terrorism from across the border by taking advantage of the situation.

He also asserted the central government is capable of dealing with any situation.

He was addressing virtually the third Balramji Dass Tandon Memorial Lecture organised by Panjab University on the issue of national security.

“What is happening in neighbouring Afghanistan is raising new questions in terms of security and our government is constantly monitoring the developments there,” Singh said.

Along with the security of Indians, he said, “Our government also wants that anti-national forces do not encourage terrorism from across the border by taking advantage of the development there.”

“We have some more concerns which can become challenges from the point of view of national security,” he added.

Singh said that the Narendra Modi government was alert and capable of dealing with any situation.

“We are always prepared to deal with threats arising from anywhere — air, water and land, he said.

The defence minister laid stress on continuously upgrading and updating the national security system to face new challenges and said that some new threats have emerged because of the development of modern technology.

He referred to the dropping of two bombs using drone at the Jammu air force station earlier this year.

“We have to continuously update and upgrade the national security system for new challenges, said Singh.

He said the government’s aim is to make the country prosperous, strong and secure. Such an India that does not scare anyone but develops a sense of security among small nations and that India’s growing power is not a threat to them,” he said.

Singh also said that there was a trust deficit between India and Pakistan and the country needed to be vigilant of this fact from the point of view of national security.

Singh said Pakistan had understood that they would not make any gains from violations of ceasefire agreements.

An agreement was signed between the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) of India and Pakistan to maintain ceasefire along the Line of Control in February this year, he said.

“We are also in wait and watch mode because the trust deficit between both the nations is a major problem, he said, adding that no ceasefire violation by the neighbouring nation has taken place ever since the agreement was signed.

Pakistan understands that it is not in position to do much in Kashmir, especially after the nullification of Article 370, he said.

He said Pakistan had suffered defeats in 1965 and 1971 wars and these defeats completely proved that it was not in a position to launch a full scale war against India.

The minister said the inability to wage a direct war against India forced Pakistan to work on two policies — on the one hand, the neighbouring nation took steps towards finding an atomic way and on the other hand, it started working on the policy of giving ‘death by thousand cuts’ to India.

On Jammu and Kashmir, Singh said an effective action by Indian security forces to stop terrorism has been going on for the last seven years there.

“I believe that the remaining terrorism in Kashmir will also end. I have this belief because the strength and oxygen that the separatist forces used to get there due to Articles 370 and 35A are over now, said Singh.

He said the Modi government neither does politics nor allows it to happen on issues related to national security, and added that a free hand has been given to the security forces in performing their duties.
“How high the confidence and morale of the army and security forces can be guessed from the fact that in the last seven years, they have not allowed a single major terrorist incident in the hinterland of India, he said.

India is not only taking action against terrorism within the borders of the country, the brave soldiers of our army have done the work of destroying militants hideouts by crossing the border if needed, he said, referring to the surgical strike after the Uri attack and the Balakot air strikes after the Pulwama attack.

“Today we can say that Pakistan-supported model of terrorism is getting demolished in India, he said. PTI

Global Covid-19 Caseload Tops 217 Mn, Deaths Surge To More Than 4.50 Mn

Global Covid-19 Caseload Tops 217 Mn, Deaths Surge To More Than 4.50 Mn

Washington, Aug 31: The global coronavirus caseload has topped 217 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 4.50 million and vaccinations soared to over 5.23 billion, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Tuesday morning, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload, death toll and vaccination tally stood at 217,038,138, 4,508,896 and 5,236,019,787, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 39,048,678 and 638,676, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 32,737,939 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (20,752,281), France (6,834,834), Russia (6,803,323), the UK (6,789,189), Turkey (6,366,408), Argentina (5,178,889), Colombia (4,907,264), Iran (4,960,744), Spain (4,847,298), Italy (4,534,499), Indonesia (4,079,267), Germany (3,947,035) and Mexico (3,335,700), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 579,574 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (438,210), Mexico (258,165), Peru (198,115), Russia (179,233), the UK (132,808), Indonesia (132,491), Italy (129,146), Colombia (124,883), France (114,620), Argentina (111,607) and Iran (107,151).—(IANS)

We Cannot Afford Closure Of Educational Institutions Anymore, Start Gradual Opening Of Schools/Colleges: DAK

We Cannot Afford Closure Of Educational Institutions Anymore, Start Gradual Opening Of Schools/Colleges: DAK

Srinagar, Aug 31: President Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK), Dr Mohammad Yousuf Tak today expressed serious concern for Education sector which has suffered a huge setback during last two years of COVID 19 Pandemic. He said that education is the main pillar for the growth and prosperity of any society and we can not afford to keep our schools locked for too long or make it our last priority. Appealing honorable Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha he added that government should start gradual opening of schools and colleges in Jammu and Kashmir. Volunteers and NGOs also have a huge role to play as State of Kerala has highest literacy rate because of significant contribution by volunteers and philanthropists.

Dr Owais H Dar, General Secretary DAK said that Schools are just not only for imparting curricular education but are centres for the over all growth and development of a child and interaction with his/her peers. Even when experts have advocated graded opening of schools in a phased manner as the number of COVID cases has declined significantly. Moreover this cooling period must be utilised to upgrade infrastructure in hospitals apart from building up oxygen generation capacity in all major hospitals to the fullest.

Dr Mir Mohammad Ashraf Senior VP said that when all other business and tourism activities have been restored to a larger extent educational institutions are still under lock and key..

Dr Arshad H Trag, Vice President DAK said that all the children don’t have computers and smart phones and thereby are not able to avail online education which is being imparted by majority of the schools.

“Education should take a front seat in any progressive society and Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) has advocated travelling too far in order to gain knowledge and acquire education”.

Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) requested philanthropists and other Scholars to come forward and start small community schools should be started to overcome the unavoidable void in the education sector after following Covid Appropriate Behaviour.

Doctors Association Kashmir further urges government to revisit and relook on the policy of opening of educational institutions especially professional colleges, degree colleges and higher Schools to resume the educational activities in a gradual manner at an earliest but we must not lower our guard and must religiously follow Covid SOPS and eligible people must get Vaccinated as soon as possible.
Doctors Association Kashmir has appealed heads of all educational institutions to take a lead in getting their staff and students vaccinated in the first instance and ensure their preparedness for starting offline educational activities. so that whenever a decision is taken for opening of these institutions there is no further delay on this pretext.

Dr Imtiyaz H Banday
Spokesperson DAK

Will Sweep Elections, Form Next Govt In J&K: Dr Farooq Abdullah, Sarpanchs, Panchs, Political Leaders Facing Life Threats, World To See Taliban Impact For Sure, Can’t Say Which Country Will Have More Impact

Will Sweep Elections, Form Next Govt In J&K: Dr Farooq Abdullah, Sarpanchs, Panchs, Political Leaders Facing Life Threats, World To See Taliban Impact For Sure, Can’t Say Which Country Will Have More Impact

Srinagar, Aug 31: National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah Tuesday claimed that his party will sweep assembly elections in J&K whenever polls are held and “we will form the next government”.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at SKICC here, Dr Farooq while replying to a query about whether NC was preparing for the upcoming Assembly polls, said: “We will sweep and win elections….you see…I am saying it with authority as NC is the biggest party in J&K.”

NC chief said that Covid pandemic has hit development as well as employment opportunities in J&K. “You can see for yourself whether the situation has improved post Article 370 or deteriorated. I won’t talk about it much. If I say anything, they (BJP) would say I being in opposition has started targeting them. So let people judge themselves what has changed and what has not,” he said.

On Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan, he said there will surely be an effect of the development taking place in Afghanistan. “Our neighbouring countries are in distress. I don’t know which country will face more impact of the Taliban take over. We have Pakistan, China, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Russia as our neighbor. Who knows whether the US would face more impact from Taliban take over. I can’t say, but yes, there will surely be an impact of the Afghan situation on the world,” Dr Farooq said.

About Sarpanchs security in Kashmir, he said Sarpanchs and Panchs besides other leaders are facing life threats as recently many of them belonging to BJP and one of them who was affiliated with the Apni Party were killed. “There has to be some security for them. BJP lost eight leaders in recent attacks,” the NC chief said.kno

Leopard Captured Alive In Mansbal Area Of Ganderbal District

Leopard Captured Alive In Mansbal Area Of Ganderbal District

Ganderbal, Aug 31: The Wildlife department on Tuesday caught a leopard alive in Chashma Mansbal area of Safapora in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

An official told that the leopard was roaming in the residential areas between Ganderbal and Bandipora jurisdiction, posing threat to locals especially to children.

He said that after being informed by the locals, teams of wildlife department armed with necessary gadgets visited the area and captured the leopard alive this morning.

Notably, on July 11 a girl was taken away by a leopard from a car in the Zazuna area of Ganderbal and later her body was recovered from an orchard.

However, it was not immediately known if the captured animal was the same that had mauled the minor girl to death.kno

Vice-Chairman Of District Development Council Kupwara Haji Farooq Mir To Join Peoples Confrence

Vice-Chairman Of District Development Council Kupwara Haji Farooq Mir To Join Peoples Confrence

Srinagar, Apr 29: In a boost to Peoples Conference, vice-chairman of district development council Kupwara, Haji Farooq Ahmad Mir is joining the party on Sunday.

Sources told that Mir, who hails from Lolab area of Kupwara district, is likely to join PC today in presence of its chairman Sajad Gani Lone and other leaders.

Mir is currently the vice—chairman District Development Kupwara (DDC). He contested the recently held DDC election as an independent candidate, from Wavoora segment of the Lolab constituency. He polled more than 10,000 votes, the highest in Kashmir valley and won by a margin of more than 5000 votes, the second highest margin victory in the Kashmir valley. His joining is likely to strengthen the party in Lolab Assembly constituency and put the party in a dominant position in Kupwara where it had won two assembly segments in last assembly election.kno

DAK Strongly Condemns Unworthy Remarks Against Doctors And Paramedics Of SDH Kupwara By Some Miscreants, Demands Strict Action Against The Culprits

DAK Strongly Condemns Unworthy Remarks Against Doctors And Paramedics Of SDH Kupwara By Some Miscreants, Demands Strict Action Against The Culprits

SRINAGAR, August 29th: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today strongly condemned the highly irresponsible and provocative statement against the doctors and paramedic of SDH Kupwara made in a “press conference organized under the banner of Kupwara Traders Federation yesterday and demanded immediate action against the culprits.

DAK President Dr Mohd Yousuf Tak in a statement issued here said that such disparaging, disrespectful and dishonouring statement made under the banner of Kupwara Traders Federation is highly condemnable.These provocative statements and unparliamentary remarks have damaged the morale of doctors and paramedics who are fighting with the Covid Pandemic. This has become a trend now that many so-called social activitists, self styled civil society members are abusing the doctors and paramedics without any reasonable grounds.

“Such provocative statements are aimed to tarnish the image of the health department and fulfill their vested interests, he further added”.

General Secretary DAK, Dr Owais H Dar said that the Chief medical officer and Block medical officer Kupwara in an detailed official press release circulated today vid no. CMOK/Est-I/ 2480-84, dated 27-08-21 and BMOK/NHM/427 dated 27-08-21 have condemned the provocative remarks and refuted the allegations levelled against the SDH Kupwara and the staff members as insensitive, baseless and a hoax.

“While condemning the incident as shameful and an eye-opener for administration on what is happening with the doctors in the field, he recommended that such persons need to be booked under Epidemic Act so as to act as deterrent for others”.

Dr Arshad Trag Vice President DAK said that
the statement is unfortunate and vicious in nature and that despite working day and night the violent attacks on COVID warriors are taking place now and then in J&K.

“Every time doctors and Paramedical staff of hospitals are becoming victims of circumstances and in addition to verbal abuses and physical violence is unleashed on them by such deranged minds.

DAK has been pressing since long ago for making the working environment conducive, safe and secure for doctors and staff at hospitals and strong action must be taken against the culprits as per laws of the land.

Dr Mohd Ashraf Mir Senior Vice President DAK while citing a video circulating on social said that the remarks made in as “Doctors are Killers and this SDH Kupwara is a butcher house” is vehemently condemnable and is threat to the medical fraternity. He appealed the Deputy Commissioner Kupwara to intervene in the matter and direct the police to book the culprits at the earliest so that the morale of Covid warriors is not affected.

Dr Gulzar Ahmad Sr Vice President DAK-Kupwara condemned the inflammatory remarks and said that we will not tolerate such harassment and can go to any extent for the safety and honour of the health care staff.

Dr Karamjeet Singh VP DAK- Kupwara said that the toxic language used in a KTF press conference is pointless and baseless, and demanded immediate action against such culprits, as such type of statement can lead to violence against the medical fraternity.

DAK demands and resolves if Govt does not take suo moto cognizance and action the culprits, we will be forced to resort to democratic means of struggle and knock the doors of the judiciary to take the sensitive matter to logical End.

Dr Fayaz Ahd Bhat
Spokesperson

Panic Gripped In Sopore Town As Blast Like Sound Heard

Panic Gripped In Sopore Town As Blast Like Sound Heard

Sopore, Aug 29 : Panic gripped at Main chowk area of North Kashmir’s Sopore town as blast like sound heard.

Reports reaching said, that panic gripped at Main chowk area of Sopore town in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district after a blast like sound washeard in the area.

Eyewitness said that, soon after the blast like sound was heard people ran for cover.

Meanwhile Police said, we are ascertaining the facts and the area has been cordoned off.

Higher Educational Institutes Can Open For Vaccinated Staff, Students But School To Remain Closed : Government

Higher Educational Institutes Can Open For Vaccinated Staff, Students But School To Remain Closed : Government

Srinagar, Aug 29 Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday said that higher educational institutions can be permitted to commence with limited in-person teaching subject to cent percent vaccination of staff and students and specific permission of concerned Deputy Commissioners.

However, as per a government order, all schools including coaching centers shall continue to remain closed for onsite and in-person teaching, till further orders.

The decision was taken at a detailed review of the current COVID situation in Jammu and Kashmir held by the State Executive Committee, who is the Chief Secretary J&K, with the Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Finance, ACS Health and Medical Education , Principal Secretary, Home, Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and other officers of Jammu and Kashmir on August 27.

The government also reiterated that the maximum number of people permitted to attend any indoor/ outdoor gathering shall be strictly restricted to 25. “All District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police shall ensure compliance.”There shall be no weekend curfew in any district, read the order.

“All schools including coaching centers shall continue to remain closed for onsite / in-person teaching, till further orders,” the order said, adding, “However, the higher educational institutions can be permitted to commence with limited in-person teaching subject to 100% vaccination of staff and students and specific permission of concerned Deputy Commissioners.” Such institutions, the government said, can organize special vaccination camps in consultation with district administration.

*“Other educational institutions can allow attendance of vaccinated staff for administrative purposes.”*

The government also ordered that night curfew shall continue to remain in force in all districts from 8 pm to 7 am.”

All Deputy Commissioners, they said, shall intensify testing by making optimum use of available rt-PCR and RAT capacities. “There shall be no drop in testing levels.”
The Deputy Commissioners, the government said, shall also focus on the positivity rates of the Medical-Blocks under their jurisdictions.

*“Intensified measures related to Covid management and restriction of activities shall be undertaken in these Blocks. There shall be renewed focus on Panchayat level mapping of cases and effective micro-containment zones shall be constituted wherever unusual spike of cases is noticed,” the order said, adding, “DCs shall keep active track of the positivity rates in blocks and consider implementing stricter control measures in closed clustered spaces like Public/ Private Offices, Community halls, Malls, Bazaars etc., in case weekly positivity rate goes beyond 4 percent in these Blocks.”*

The three – “T” protocol of testing, tracking and treating, besides vaccination, needs to strengthened in these Blocks, it said. “The proportion of rT-PCR tests in the total mix should be scaled up on best effort basis, to 70 % or more, excluding travelers.” The Intensive vaccination drive shall be taken up in all districts to ensure timely administration of second dose besides maximizing first dose to vulnerable groups, they said.

The District Magistrates, the government said, shall strictly ensure that there is full compliance to COVID appropriate behavior and defaulters are firmly dealt with under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act and the Indian Penal Code.

“The District Magistrates shall constitute joint teams of Police and Executive Magistrates for intensifying enforcement of Covid Appropriate Behaviour”. The joint teams, they said, shall submit daily reports regarding activities earned out by them and their assessment of compliance level.

“DCs will intensify the campaigns for ensuring COVID appropriate behavior. Dedicated IEC, including public announcements through mobile vehicles must be undertaken.” The government ordered that at entry point to J&K at Lakhanpur, mandatory testing for COVID can be dispensed with for those who have received both dosages of vaccine provided a reliable and verifiable system can be put in place in consultation with the medical team.

*“Entry into Parks can be permitted to vaccinated persons with due verification.” 

J&K: Jambu Zoo Work Apace Despite Covid Restrictions, Say Officials

J&K: Jambu Zoo Work Apace Despite Covid Restrictions, Say Officials

Jammu, Aug 29: Despite Covid-related restrictions, the wildlife protection department is making all efforts to complete the Jambu Zoo project at the earliest, officials said here on Sunday.

The foundation stone of the Rs 120 crore project, covering an area of 229.50 hectares, was laid in September 2016 at Nagrota, along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, to make it a major attraction for animal lovers and tourists.

Sanjeev Verma, Commissioner-Secretary Forests, on Saturday inspected the project and directed the concerned officers to expedite the ongoing works, an official spokesperson said.

He said major components such as veterinary hospital, leopard enclosure, tiger enclosure, staff quarters, animal feed store, animal kitchen, slope stabilisation works, viewpoints, reservoirs, and cafeteria are in an advanced stage of completion.

Works on enclosures for animals such as sambar, spotted deer, lion, bear and gharial are at different stages of construction or tendering work, the spokesperson said.

Jammu and Kashmir”s Chief Wildlife Warden Suresh K Gupta said work worth over Rs 30 crore are under progress at the zoo and tendering of works of around Rs 6 crore is under process.

“Wildlife Protection department is making all efforts to complete the project at an earliest,” he said.

The officials said Jambu Zoo would be the first full-fledged Zoo in Jammu and Kashmir and would be a major attraction for the tourists. It would also serve as a centre for education and awareness about wildlife and biodiversity conservation.

Upon completion, the Jambu Zoo will host several native and exotic animals in its 17 enclosures, he said.

The current phase of the project is being funded by Jammu & Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) at an estimated cost of Rs 62.41 crore.

He also asked them to plant ornamental plants, shrubs, and climbers of different foliage colours along both sides of the road, the spokesperson said.

The commissioner-secretary directed the officers to place first-aid kits at different locations of the zoo in case of any emergency.

The official said one of the most interesting features of the project would be that the visitors would see the animals in moats and in their natural habitat instead of cages.—(PTI)

COVID-19: DGCA Extends Suspension Of International Commercial Passenger Flights Till Sep 30 2021

COVID-19: DGCA Extends Suspension Of International Commercial Passenger Flights Till Sep 30 2021

New Delhi, August 29: Amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Director-General of Civil Aviation on Sunday extended the suspension on scheduled international commercial passenger flights till September 30, 2021, said a circular by the office of DGCA.

However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis.

This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA, the circular further said .

“In a partial modification on a circular dated June 26, 2021, the competent authority has further extended the validity of the circular issued on the subject cited above regarding Scheduled International commercial passenger service to/from India till 2359 hrs IST of 30th September 2021,” stated the DGCA circular.

“This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. However, International Scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on case to case basis,” further stated the circular.

Earlier, the scheduled international flights were suspended until August 31, said the circular issued by the DGCA on July 30, 2021.—(ANI)

Another Attack At Kabul Airport Highly In 24-36 Hours United States President Joe Biden

Another Attack At Kabul Airport Highly In 24-36 Hours United States President Joe Biden

Aug 29 2021 Washington: President Joe Biden vowed to keep up airstrikes against the Islamic extremist group whose suicide bombing at the Kabul airport killed scores of Afghans and 13 American service members.

Another terror attack, he said, is “highly likely” this weekend as the US winds down its evacuation.

The Pentagon said the remaining contingent of US forces at the airport, now numbering fewer than 4,000, had begun their final withdrawal ahead of Biden’s deadline for ending the evacuation on Tuesday.

After getting briefed on a US drone mission in eastern Afghanistan that the Pentagon said killed two members of the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate early Saturday, Biden said the extremists can expect more.

“This strike was not the last,” Biden said in a statement. “We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay.” He paid tribute to the “bravery and selflessness” of the American troops executing the hurried airlift of tens of thousands from Kabul airport, including the 13 US service members who were killed in Thursday’s suicide bombing at an airport gate.

The evacuation proceeded as tensions rose over the prospect of another IS attack.

“Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” Biden said, adding that he has instructed them to take all possible measures to protect their troops, who are securing the airport and helping bring onto the airfield Americans and others desperate to escape Taliban rule.

The remains of the 13 American troops were on their way to the United States, the Pentagon said. Their voyage marked a painful moment in a nearly 20-year American war that cost more than 2,400 US military lives and is ending with the return to power of a Taliban movement that was ousted when US forces invaded in October 2001.

The remains of troops killed in action overseas are usually flown back to the US via Dover Air Base in Delaware, where fallen troops’ return to US soil is marked by a solemn movement known as the “dignified transfer.”

The White House did not say if Biden would travel to Dover for the troops’ return. Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, said shortly after the attack that the president “would do everything he can to honor the sacrifice and the service” of those killed.

The Pentagon released the names of those killed; 11 Marines, one Navy sailor and one Army soldier. Twelve of them were in the 20s; some were born in 2001, the year America’s longest war began. The oldest was 31.

Dy. Mayor Accuses SMC Commissioner For Non-Compliance Of Corporate Body Orders, Writes To LG Sinha

Dy. Mayor Accuses SMC Commissioner For Non-Compliance Of Corporate Body Orders, Writes To LG Sinha

Srinagar, Aug 29: The Srinagar Municipal Corporation deputy Mayor, Parvaiz Ahmad Qadri has accused the SMC commissioner of non-compliance of the Corporate Body Orders and negligence of his duties and lodged a complaint by writing a letter to Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha.

In a letter deputy Mayor has said: “I take this opportunity to convey you that an event under the banner “Srinagar Battle of Bands for Polythene Free Srinagar” has been organised by Commissioner, SMC today on 28th August-2021 at Sheri Kashmir Park Srinagar without taking the elected body of the Corporation on board.”

It reads that organising such event is not a problem but it has been observed that Commissioner, SMC is an arrogant Officer and never takes the Elected Corporate Body on board while taking vital decisions of the SMC.

“Since we have contested Municipal elections despite life threats and are elected representatives of the people besides are answerable before the general public. The people of the City have lot of expectations on us but due to inefficiency of the present Commissioner, SMC developmental activities of the Srinagar City have came to halt,” reads the letter.

The letter reads that as your goods self is aware that Srinagar Municipal Corporation is duty bound to provide basic civic services to its Citizens and a number of developmental activities including vital macadamisation process in left out areas of Srinagar City is pending due incapability of the present Commissioner of the Corporation.

“It is pertinent to mention here that since Janyary-2021 various issues were brought into the notice of the Commissioner, SMC and also several reports were called from him through numerous communications written from time to time, but despite several reminders no reply or report has been received from the Commissioner, SMC till date.”

The letter also reads that this clearly indicates that Commissioner, SMC has been negligent towards his duties and has made the whole Corporation to suffer owing to his irresponsible and insubordinate behavior.

“Therefore, in view of non-compliance of the Corporate Body Orders, negligence of duties and irresponsible behavior besides not taking Elected Corporate Body on Board while taking decisions of the Corporation, a majority of Corporators including undersigned lodge our protest not to attend today’s event organised by the Commissioner, SMC,” it reads. 

Delhi Court Grants Bail To Kashmiri Man Accused Of Planning To Assassinate Head Priest In Delhi

Delhi Court Grants Bail To Kashmiri Man Accused Of Planning To Assassinate Head Priest In Delhi

Srinagar, Aug 29: A local court in New Delhi has granted bail to a Kashmiri man, who was allegedly involved in planning to kill a religious priest in Delhi and was subsequently arrested by the police from a hotel in Paharganj area of New Delhi.

In a judgement, court of additional sessions judge New Delhi granted bail to Jan Mohammad Dar on the grounds that trial in the instant case is expected to consume considerable time and considering the period of incarceration of the alleged accused person.

After hearing the prosecution and the defence counsel, the court observed that charge-sheet has already been filed and antecedents of the accused are reported to be absolutely blemish free.

“In the Instant matter, charge-sheet has already been filed. Recoveries have already been affected and except for the present case, the criminal antecedents of the applicant/accused are reported to be absolutely blemish free,” reads the court order.

It reads that considering the period of incarceration coupled with the fact that trial in the instant matter is expected to consume considerable time, accused John Mohammad Dar is ordered to be released on bail on his furnishing of bail bond of Rs. 50, 000.

The court while granting bail put the accused under the conditions that he shall appear on every date of hearing as fixed by the court concern.

“He shall keep his mobile phone on at all times and shall drop a pin on the google map to ensure that his location is available to the investigating officer. He shall commit no offence whatsoever during the period that he is on bail in present FIR,” the court said.

Earlier, defence counsel advocate Sarfaraz Wani submitted before the court that the accused was a resident of Kashmir and was falsely implicated and was in jail for the last three months.

He pleaded that the accused is the only bread winner of his family and a carpenter by profession. “The investigation has been completed and no purpose would be served by keeping him behind the bar,” he pleaded while praying for release of the accused on bail.

Meanwhile, the prosecution prayed that the accused was planning to assassinate the head of a religious institution in Delhi and NCR.

Notably, on May 18 this year, Delhi Police had claimed to have arrested a man, identified as 24-year-old John Mohammad Dar alias Jehangir of Pulwama, from a hotel in Paharganj for allegedly being contracted to kill Dasna Devi temple’s head priest.kno

Will Act Strictly Against Militants, Their Supporters: DGP Dilbagh Singh

Will Act Strictly Against Militants, Their Supporters: DGP Dilbagh Singh

Bandipora, Aug 28: Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh Saturday said that police will go tough against militants and their supporters in Kashmir to keep the prevailing peaceful atmosphere intact.

He also said that police and the other security won’t allow the prevailing situation to deteriorate in the wake of Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of his visit to District Police Lines (DPL) Bandipora, the DGP said that due to the Covid situation, meetings with the police officers had slowed down a bit and now that the Covid graph has going down, the interactions have once again picked up.

“Bandipora is on a peaceful track and the situation has improved here,” he said. The DGP said that in the past few weeks many top commanders of various militant outfits were killed in encounters and especially the killing of Lashkar-e-Toiba/TRF chief Abbas Sheikh and his aide Saqib in Srinagar encounter, people have heaved a sigh of relief.

“Abbas and his associate were involved in so many activities. After their killing, people are feeling relieved,” the DGP said, adding that similarly in other districts of Kashmir, the situation is peaceful and people are enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

About the growing number of militant supporters in Kashmir, the DGP said that police will act strictly against militants and militant supporters including OGWs. “It is the OGWs who carry a pistol to do selective killing and throw grenades to target innocent civilians. We are going very tough against them,” he said.

Asked how he sees the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and possible infiltration of Taliban militants into Kashmir, the DGP said that they won’t allow the prevailing situation in Kashmir to deteriorate. “Situation at present in Kashmir is peaceful and it will remain so,” he said.

Yamraj Is Everywhere, Why Be Afraid In Kashmir: Farooq Abdullah

Yamraj Is Everywhere, Why Be Afraid In Kashmir: Farooq Abdullah

National Conference leader and MP Dr Farooq Abdullah Friday said people should ignore insurgency, overcome their fear psychosis and go ahead with their dream visit of Kashmir.

“Kashmir is paradise on earth but still people fear to travel to this region. Due to the violence and insurgency, people are not sure whether they go back alive. But, I am happy to see you made it a point to come here. Like you fought the fear and came here, you have seen how secure it is. The Yamraj (Angel of death) is everywhere why bother about him in Kashmir alone?”

Dr Farooq was speaking to a gathering at the closing ceremony of Greentech Foundation’s two days meet on Safety and Energy at the tourist resort of Sonmarg.

Referring to Coronavirus which crippled mighty nations like the USA, Dr Farooq said, “Our India has fared well, despite the highest poverty. Our scientific and medical community made our country proud he said.”

Giving hope to his Dr Farooq said, “We will get over insurgency soon. Keep faith. We have to survive and we make our nation survive.”

“God is neither in yemple nor mosque. God, the Allah is in every one of us. It is an earnest desire for all of us to live together and progress together. We made a nation that stands for all,” said Dr Abdullah.

“The holy Quran teaches us to respect each other, respect humanity. When you go back home make a new India, make India for all. Before I sleep I want to see a new India. The liberators of this nation, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru couldn’t see. But, I am optimistic and I would like to see a new India, the India that stands for all.”

Welcoming the gathering, Kamaleshwar Sharan, CEO of Greentech Foundation said, “what we hear about Jammu & Kashmir about safety is different from what we have been witnessing for the past couple of days. There is a perception gap. We need to correct this. We will spread a positive word about it. We will convey the ground reality of the region.”

150 delegates from across India and cross-section of industries participated in the meet. The delegates came from organizations like ONGC, NTPC Ltd, Dalmia Cement, HPCL, IIM Rohtak, Steel Authority of India Ltd, Lupin Ltd etc deliberated, said Sharan.

National Conference Appoints Office Bearers, Munazir Yaseen Appointed District Secretary Youth Wing

National Conference Appoints Office Bearers, Munazir Yaseen Appointed District Secretary Youth Wing

Srinagar, Aug 28: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah approved the appointments of several office-bearers for Youth National Conference (YNC) and made Muntazir Yaseen District Secretary Srinagar.

Muntazir Yaseen is the resident of Abi Guzar Srinagar.

A National Conference leader said that competent authority of the party unanimously appoint office bearers with the approval of Farooq Abdullah for key party posts to strengthen the organizational network and for close monitoring and supervision of party affairs, also to give representation to the party’s youth wing.

Parvez Ahmed Pandit, Sahil Warsi and Sajad Tantray have been made three vice presidents of youth wing. Muntazir Yaseen and Burhan Zargar have been appointed as District Secretary and Joint Secretary respectively while Shoib Ahmed Dar will be the organizer and the treasurer will be Faisal Ahmed Mir.

Youth Wing president of the party Salman Ali Sagar has also approved the appointments of these office bearers. 

Another Kabul Attack Likely Before United States Leave Afghanistan Warn National Security Officials

Another Kabul Attack Likely Before United States Leave Afghanistan Warn National Security Officials

28 Aug 2021: Members of the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, a Sunni Islamist militant group, wave the Taliban flags as they celebrate the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

National security officials warned US President Biden on Friday (local time) that another terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, is “likely” in the final days of the US military mission in the country.

Biden and Vice President Harris met with Pentagon officials and members of the president’s national security team one day after a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport attributed to ISIS killed more than a dozen US service members and dozens of Afghan civilians. The Hill reported.

“They advised the president and vice president that another terror attack in Kabul is likely, but that they are taking maximum force protection measures at the Kabul airport,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing.

“They reported that even in the face of those threats, our courageous servicewomen and men are continuing to operate a historic evacuation operation,” she added.

“The US military is airlifting out thousands of people every few hours.”

“The next few days of this mission will be the most dangerous period to date,” Psaki said.

Pentagon officials had warned in the aftermath of Thursday’s bombing that another attack, including one using a car bomb or some other device, was still a possibility, The Hill reported.

US Central Command, Marine Corps General Kenneth F McKenzie Jr on Thursday (local time) said that an Islamic State terrorist attack at the Kabul airport killed 12 US troops and injured 15 more.

Four US Marines are among the 35 people who were reportedly killed in twin bomb blasts outside Kabul airport on Thursday.

The first blast was reported at the Abbey Gate in Kabul airport while the second one was near the Baron Hotel.

Global Covid-19 Caseload Tops 215 Mn, Deaths Surge To More Than 4.48 Mn

Global Covid-19 Caseload Tops 215 Mn, Deaths Surge To More Than 4.48 Mn

Washington, Aug 28: The global coronavirus caseload has topped 214.5 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 4.48 million and vaccinations soared to over 5.12 billion, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Saturday morning, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload, death toll and vaccination tally stood at 215,357,973, 4,484,434 and 5,123,427,298, respectively.

The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 38,700,164 and 636,667, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India follows in the second place with 32,603,188 cases.

The other worst countries with over 3 million cases are Brazil (20,703,906), France (6,778,133), Russia (6,747,681), the UK (6,697,770), Turkey (6,311,607), Argentina (5,167,733), Colombia (4,901,163), Iran (4,869,414), Spain (4,831,809), Italy (4,517,434), Indonesia (4,056,354), Germany (3,925,190) and Mexico (3,291,761), the CSSE figures showed.

In terms of deaths, Brazil comes second with 578,326 fatalities.

Nations with a death toll of over 100,000 are India (436,861), Mexico (256,287), Peru (198,031), Russia (176,904), the UK (132,566), Indonesia (130,781), Italy (129,002), Colombia (124,648), France (114,291), Argentina (111,270) and Iran (105,287).—(IANS)

United States Hits Back At ISIS-K Days After Kabul Attack, Kills Terrorists Planner In Drone Strike In Afghanistan

United States Hits Back At ISIS-K Days After Kabul Attack, Kills Terrorists Planner In Drone Strike In Afghanistan

28 Aug 2021: The US struck back at the Islamic State on Saturday bombing a member of the ISIS-K in Afghanistan, in a retaliatory airstrike days after a bombing claimed by the Islamic State killed as many as 169 Afghans and 13 American service members, news agencies reported.

According to the Pentagon, the drone strikes by the US military targeted a ‘planner’ of the IS outfit. A spokesperson for the US Central Command said the unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangahar province of Afghanistan. The initial indications hint that the target has been killed, while there have been no civilian casualties, the spokesperson said.

Two Lecturers Discover ‘Gigantic Fossil Site’ Near Aharbal Waterfall In Kulgam

Two Lecturers Discover ‘Gigantic Fossil Site’ Near Aharbal Waterfall In Kulgam

Kulgam, Aug 28: Two lecturers, working in the School Education department Saturday claimed to have discovered a “gigantic fossil site” while scouting for fossil samples near world famous Aharbal waterfall in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district. 

As per reports available the gigantic fossil site was discovered by two lectures namely Manzoor Javaid and Dr Rouf Hamza when they came across a site, which is rich in fossil diversity at specific locations aged between 488- 354 million years. 

Notably, the site is located at a distance of about two kilometers from Ahrabal Waterfall in Kulgam district and the site is studded with thousands of fossil remains of diverse nature which got exposed due to weathering, construction of road and subsequent erosion.

Dr Rouf Hamza said that thousands of fossils are visible at the site superficially without any excavation. “This is an indication that huge haul of fossils could be hidden beneath.”

He said that if the potential areas of the site are excavated, it may reveal an astonishing fossil world to the scientific community.

“During the preliminary investigation, it was revealed that the fossil samples fall between Ordovician and Devonian period. However, it needs to be ascertained through serious research and Carbon Dating.”

He said that the organisms commonly found during this period belong to Bryozoa (Fenestella, Fenestrillina, Trepestome, Rhombopore), Trilobites, Crinoids, Brachiopods, Corals etc. “However, the site needs to be evaluated for other fossil flora and fauna.”

Rouf claimed that till date, it is presumably the biggest find in J&K in terms of occurrence, area, diversity and age of the fossils.

“Interestingly most of the fossil sites have been discovered either by the foreigners or by the professionals. However, this is the only discovery in Jammu and Kashmir made by the amateur fossil hunters,” he claimed.kno

Three Persons Including Two Women Injured In Bear Attack

Three Persons Including Two Women Injured In Bear Attack

Handwara, Aug 28: Three persons including two women were injured after a bear attacked them Ananwan Kralgund village of North Kashmir’s Handwara town.

Eyewitnesses told that three family members were busy working in their kitchen garden when a bear suddenly emerged and attacked them.

The bear fled away after locals pelted stones and chased it away.

The injured who were taken to Community Health Centre Kralgund have been identified as Saja Begum wife of Ghulam Ahmed Rather, Ashia Begum wife of Abdul Hamid Rather and Bashir Ahmed Dar.

Meanwhile, Wildlife officials have urged upon the locals living adjacent to forest areas to avoid venturing out during evening and early morning hours during which there is maximum movement of wild animals. 

India Reports 44,658 New COVID-19 Cases, 496 Deaths, Tally Over 3.26 Cr

India Reports 44,658 New COVID-19 Cases, 496 Deaths, Tally Over 3.26 Cr

New Delhi, Aug 26: With 44,658 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India”s total tally of COVID-19 cases has increased to 3,26,03,188, while the active cases rose to 3,44,899, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The death toll climbed to 4,36,861 with 496 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The active cases comprise 1.03 per cent of the total infections while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.63 per cent, the ministry said.

An increase of 11,174 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.

As many as 18,24,931 tests were conducted on Thursday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 51,49,54,309. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.45 per cent. It has been less than three per cent for the last 32 days.

The weekly positivity rate was recorded at 2.10 per cent. It has been below three per cent for the last 63 days, according to the ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,18,21,428 and the case fatality rate stands at 1.34 per cent, the data stated.

Cumulatively, 61.22 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered under the nationwide vaccination drive till Friday morning.

India”s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23.

The 496 new fatalities include 162 from Kerala and 159 from Maharashtra.

A total of 4,36,861 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 1,36,730 from Maharashtra, 37,231 from Karnataka, 34,814 from Tamil Nadu, 25,080 from Delhi, 22,794 from Uttar Pradesh, 20,134 from Kerala and 18,402 from West Bengal.

The ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters Can Prevent Men From Joining Ranks: Lt Gen DP Pandey

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters Can Prevent Men From Joining Ranks: Lt Gen DP Pandey

Srinagar, August 27 : General-officer-commanding (GOC) of Srinagar-based 15 corps Lieutenant General Devendra Pratap Pandey on Friday said that only mothers, sisters, daughters can prevent men from joining the path of militancy.

On the occasion of Womens Equality Day the top army officer as per Kashmir Despatch Correspondent said that we need to call out the enemies of our children and society and question them for putting weapons in the hands of our loved ones.

The top army officer on the occasion of Womens Equality Day urged the women of Kashmir to step out and ensure that their young ones are protected from the enemies of our nation.

He said that it can only be accomplished if women support us in this endeavour.

Evacuations Resume After Kabul Bombings As Toll Now Over 100

Evacuations Resume After Kabul Bombings As Toll Now Over 100

Kabul, Aug 27: Evacuation flights from Afghanistan resumed with new urgency on Friday, a day after two suicide bombings targeted the thousands of desperate people fleeing the Taliban takeover and killed more than 100.

The US says further attempted attacks are expected ahead of the Tuesday deadline for foreign troops to leave, ending America”s longest war.

As the call to prayer echoed through Kabul with the whine of departing planes, the anxious crowd outside the airport was as large as ever.

In one location, dozens of Taliban members with heavy weapons about 500 meters from the airport were preventing anyone from venturing forward.

Thursday”s bombings near Kabul”s international airport killed at least 95 Afghans and 13 US troops, Afghan and US officials said, in the deadliest day for US forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.

An official said Friday that the true toll could be higher because other people may have taken bodies away from the scene, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

In an emotional speech, President Joe Biden blamed the Islamic State group”s Afghanistan affiliate, far more radical than the Taliban militants who seized power less than two weeks ago.

“We will rescue the Americans; we will get our Afghan allies out, and our mission will go on,” Biden said. But despite intense pressure to extend Tuesday”s deadline, he has cited the threat of terrorist attacks as a reason to keep to his plan.

The Taliban, back in control of Afghanistan two decades after they were ousted in a US-led invasion following the 9/11 attacks, insist on the deadline. The Trump administration in February 2020 struck an agreement with the Taliban that called for it to halt attacks on Americans in exchange for the removal of all US troops and contractors by May; Biden announced in April he would have them out by September.

While the US on Thursday said more than 100,000 people have been safely evacuated from Kabul, as many as 1,000 Americans and tens of thousands more Afghans are struggling to leave in one of history”s largest airlifts. Gen Frank McKenzie, the US Central Command chief overseeing the evacuation, on Thursday said about 5,000 people were awaiting flights on the airfield.

Yet more were arriving. Thursday”s attacks led Jamshad, who gave just his one name, to come early Friday with his wife and three small children, clutching an invitation to a Western country he didn”t want to name. This was his first attempt to leave, he said: “After the explosion I decided I would try because I am afraid now there will be more attacks and I think now I have to leave.”

“Believe me, I think that an explosion will happen any second or minute, God is my witness, but we have lots of challenges in our lives, that is why we take the risk to come here and we overcome fear,” said Ahmadullah Herawi, also seeking to flee.

The scenes at the airport, with people standing knee-deep in sewage and families thrusting documents and even young children toward US troops behind razor wire, have horrified many around the world as far-flung efforts continue to help people escape.

But those chances are fading fast for many. Some US allies have said they are ending evacuation efforts, in part to give the US time to wrap up its evacuation work before getting 5,000 of its troops out by Tuesday.

Britain said Friday its evacuations from Afghanistan will end within hours, and the main British processing center for eligible Afghans has been closed. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News there would be “eight or nine” evacuation flights on Friday, and they will be the last. British troops will leave over the next few days.

The Spanish government said it has ended its evacuation operation. And the French European affairs minister, Clement Beaune, said on French radio Europe 1 that France will end its evacuation operation “soon” but may seek to extend it until after Friday night.

Untold thousands of Afghans, especially ones who had worked with the U.S. and other Western countries, are now in hiding from the Taliban, fearing retaliation despite the group”s offer of full amnesty. The militant group has claimed it has become more moderate since its harsh rule from 1996 to 2001, when it largely confined women to their homes, banned television and music and held public executions.

But Afghans in Kabul and elsewhere have reported that some Taliban members are barring girls from attending school and going door to door in search of people who had worked with Western forces.

No one knows how effective the Taliban will be at combating the Sunni extremists of IS, who have links to the group”s more well-known affiliate in Syria and Iraq and have carried out a series of brutal attacks in Afghanistan, mainly targeting its Shiite Muslim minority.—(AP)