LIVE
Thu, 08 August 2019
Imran seeks international support over Kashmir

Timeline  Refresh

image
23:38   UN chief appeals for 'maximum restraint' in Kashmir
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on India and Pakistan 'to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir'.

"The Secretary-General has been following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir with concern and makes an appeal for maximum restraint," Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, said.

He said the 'position of the United Nations on this region is governed by the Charter of the United Nations and applicable Security Council resolutions'.

"The Secretary-General also recalls the 1972 Agreement on bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, also known as the Simla Agreement, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations," Dujarric said in the daily press briefing.

He said the Secretary-General is also concerned over reports of restrictions in Kashmir.

"The Secretary-General calls on all parties to refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.  -- PTI
image
23:09   Group of separatists airlifted from Srinagar to Agra
A group of about 25 separatists were airlifted to Agra from Srinagar on Thursday, officials said.

The group consists of mainly 'potential stone pelters' who have a history of trouble-making.

They are alleged to be active members of separatist groups in Kashmir Valley.

They were taken in a special IAF plane to Uttar Pradesh and lodged in Agra Central Jail.

The government has imposed strict restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir after the constitutional provisions that accorded the state special status were abrogated and it was divided into two union territories.  -- PTI
image
22:46   Imran seeks international support over Kashmir
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday sought the international community's support over Kashmir, saying if it has the moral courage, it should end India's use of 'greater military force against' the Kashmiris.

'The whole world is waiting to see what happens' to Kashmiris in Kashmir when the curfew is lifted, Khan said, referring to the Valley which has been under a virtual communications blackout since Sunday.

'Does the BJP govt think by using greater military force against Kashmiris..., it will stop the freedom movement? Chances are it will gain momentum,' he tweeted.

Fearing large scale violence in the Valley, the Pakistan prime minister wondered whether 'the international community have the moral courage to stop this from happening?'   -- PTI
image
22:24   Kerala: Operations suspended at Kochi airport
Operations suspended at Kochi airport in Kerala as a precautionary measure due to heavy rains in the state.

No operations till 12am tomorrow.

Heavy rains and landslides claim four lives in Northern Kerala today.

More details awaited.
image
22:20   Sukhoi aircraft crashes, pilots eject safely
JUST IN: A Sukhoi aircraft was crashed near Tezpur in Assam on Thursday evening, official sources said.

Both pilots ejected safely from the aircraft; a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into incident, the sources said.  -- PTI

Image only for representation.
image
22:05   Sengar framed Unnao rape victim's father: CBI
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday told a Delhi court that Uttar Pradesh MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his brother assaulted the father of the 17-year-old Unnao rape case victim and framed him in an Arms Act case, in collusion with three state police officials and five others.

The agency submitted to District Judge Dharmesh Sharma that the MLA and his 'accomplices', got lodged an FIR, accusing the rape victim's father of possessing a country-made pistol and four live cartridges.

The FIR also accused the victim's father of verbally abusing the MLA's brother Atul Singh Sengar and others involved in the case.

CBI counsel Ashok Bhartendu told the court that the three police officials, accused in the case of assaulting the victim's father, included the then Makhi police station's in-charge Ashok Singh Bhadauria, Sub Inspector Kamta Prasad and Constable Amir Khan.

While Bhadauria and Prasad were out on bail, Amir, who was not arrested in the case, was granted the relief from the arrest by the court today.

The charges, however, were denied by the accused persons, which also included Shailendra Singh, Vineet Mishra, Birendra Singh, Shashi Pratap Singh and Ram Sharan Singh.

According to the CBI, the incident took place on April 3, 2018 following an altercation between the victim's father and Shashi Pratap Singh.

The charge sheet filed on July 13, 2018, said the victim's father and his co-worker were returning to their village, Makhi, when they asked Shashi Pratap Singh to give them a lift up to the village in their vehicle.

Singh, however, denied the lift, triggering an altercation among them.

This prompted Singh to call up his associates, following which MLA's brother Atul Singh Sengar reached the spot along with others and beat up the victim's father and his co-workers.

The victim's father was subsequently taken to the police station by them and an FIR was lodged against him and he was arrested.

The charge sheet said all this while, MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger was in touch with the district police superintendent, police station's in-charge Bhadauria.

Later he also talked to the doctor, who examined the victim's father.

"MLA (Kuldeep) has every reason and authority by virtue of his being an MLA to falsely implicate the (victim's) father in the case of illegal fire arms possession," the CBI said.

The rape victim's father died in judicial custody on April 9, 2018.

The counsel for the rape victim and her family, advocates Dharmendra Mishra and Poonam Kaushik, told the court that charge should also be framed against the chief medical officer of Unnao's district hospital.

The court adjourned the case for next hearing on August 10.  -- PTI
image
21:24   Pak explains 'Akhand Bharat' banner in Islamabad
The pro-India banners that appeared in parts of Islamabad hailing the decision on Jammu and Kashmir, were due to an 'error' made by the designers and poor 'language' of the activists, a senior Pakistani official said on Thursday.

On Tuesday, pro-India banners appeared in different parts of the Pakistani capital, including in the high security Red Zone, hailing India's move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The banners, which appeared on roads in front of Press Club, Sector F-6 and Abpara Chowk, went unnoticed for a long time before some passers-by spotted them and informed police who took down the banners and arrested one person in this connection.

The banners carried a map envisioning 'Akhand Bharat' (undivided India) showing parts of the present-day states of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and warnings about Balochistan.

They carried a message of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. The caption on the top of the banner read: 'Maha-Bharat A Step Forward'.

'Aaj Jammu & Kashmir liya hai Kal Balochistan, PoK lenge. Mujhe vishwsas hai desh ka PM Akhand Hindustan ka sapna poora karenhe (Today we took Jammu and Kashmir, tomorrow we will take Balochistan and PoK. I am sure Prime Minister Modi will make the dream of undivided India come true),' said the message written on the banners.       

The district magistrate, Islamabad, ordered an inquiry into the incident.

On Thursday, Islamabad District Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat tweeted that everybody associated with the issue have been arrested and the investigation was complete.

'Banners investigation completed. Everyone associated arrested, statements recorded. It is mainly an issue of a technical misunderstanding/error by the designer. The intention was to highlight the expansionist/hegemonic aims of India. Our enemies can't dare to take such a step,' he tweeted.

He said during the investigation, it was found that the activists who put up the banners 'were not good at their language'.

"They are actually young activists who need to improve their grammar and punctuation," Shafqaat said.

He said the people who displayed the banner did not seek permission of the Capital Development Authority, the civic body which controls display of banners.

"They did not get any approval. That's why they have been arrested and charged," the district commissioner said.  -- PTI
image
20:48   Any problem of J&K, Ladakh is our problem: PM
Prime Minister Modi concludes his address:

"Decades of dynasty rule in Jammu and Kashmir prevented the youth from political leadership. Now my youth of J&K will lead the development work and take the region to new heights.

"You will be shocked, in J&K for decades, lakhs and thousands of people had right to vote in Lok Sabha polls but neither they could vote nor contest in assembly/local polls. These are those who came to India after partition in 1947. Should injustice have continued with them?

"I want to make it clear, your representative will be elected by you, your representative will come from amongst you... I have complete faith, under this new system we all will be able to free Jammu and Kashmir of terrorism and separatism," the PM said.

"Patriotic people of Jammu and Kashmir have stood up against Pakistan's conspiracy of terrorism and separatism.

"I want to tell everyone, that any problem of people of J&K and Ladakh is also our problem. We are with them in their happy moments and their sad moments.

"Holy festival of Eid is also about to come. I wish everyone on this occasion. We are making sure that people in Jammu and Kashmir have no problem in celebrating Eid. Those from J&K who live elsewhere and want to go to J&K to celebrate the festival will be helped in it by us," he said.

"Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh have the potential to be the biggest tourist hub of the world. There was a time when Kashmir was the favorite destination of Bollywood film makers, I am confident that in future even international films will be shot there," the PM said.   -- ANI
image
20:33   J&K under central control for a brief period: PM
Prime Minister Modi's address to the nation continues:

"The decision to keep Jammu and Kashmir directly under central administration for a brief period was a well thought over decision.

"Since Governor rule was implemented in J&K, state admin has been directly in touch with Centre due to which the effects of good governance can be seen on ground.

"There was never any discussion as to how Article 370 was adversely affecting the people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. And it is surprising, no one was able to really tell how did the article benefit the people," he said.

The PM assured the people Jammu and Kashmir that they will elect their local representatives in the same way as they did before.

"They way free and fair panchayat elections were held, similarly assembly elections will also be held. I also urge the Governor to appoint Block Development Council, which is pending for two-three decades," the PM said.

"I assure the people of Jammu and Kashmir that they will get to vote in a free and fair assembly election very soon," he said.


image
20:15   Now J&K will also get fruits of development: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on removal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

"I congratulate people of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and the whole nation. When some things are their forever we presume they will never change or go away. Article 370 was something similar," the PM said.

"The dream of Sardar Patel, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee, Atalji and of crores of patriots has been fulfilled.

"We as a nation, as a family, have taken a historic decision. A system due to which brothers & sisters of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh were deprived of many rights & which was a big obstacle to their development, that system has been done away with," Modi said.
"Because of special status, Jammu and Kashmir could not get the development opportunity it should have got," he said.

"Now, Jammu and Kashmir will also get the fruits of development like rest of India," the PM said.

"People of J&K were deprived of the benefits of laws and schemes made for other states. Now they will also get benefits of health and education like people of other states," the PM said.
image
19:47   PM to address the nation shortly
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation shortly in an apparent outreach to people of Kashmir after the recent measures taken by his government in Jammu and Kashmir.

Modi's address comes two days after the Parliament passed a resolution repealing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a Bill reorganising the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

The adoption of the resolution on Article 370 has also nullified Article 35A which defined permanent residents of the state.

The PM is expected to touch upon the issues related to Jammu and Kashmir in his address.
image
19:43   India-Pak dialogue 'crucial' for de-escalation, says EU
The European Union on Thursday called on India and Pakistan to re-open dialogue through diplomatic channels which is 'crucial' to de-escalate tensions in Jammu and Kashmir, in the wake of the Indian government's decision to revoke the region's special status.

The Indian Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Reacting to India's move, Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, also reiterated the EU's stance of backing a bilateral solution between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.

Mogherini conducted telephone conversations with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as well as his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

"In both calls, she underlined the importance of avoiding an escalation of tensions in Kashmir and in the region. To this end, dialogue between India and Pakistan through diplomatic channels is crucial," noted a statement by the European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-member economic bloc.

"The European Union supports a bilateral political solution between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, which remains the only way to solve a long-lasting dispute that causes instability and insecurity in the region," the statement adds.

The Commission said that Mogherini, an Italian politician who is in charge of foreign affairs for the EU, has agreed to remain in touch with both the Indian and Pakistani ministers.   -- PTI
image
19:32   HC says it may defer 'Batla House' release
The Delhi high court on Thursday said the release of film Batla House will be put on hold if found that it has the 'propensity' to affect the ongoing proceedings in the encounter and the 2008 serial blasts cases.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru said the movie does not purport to be a work of fiction but a film based on police files about the two cases and therefore the filmmakers cannot say that it was not based on the encounter.

Ariz Khan, an accused in the Batla House encounter case, moved the high court on Friday to postpone the release of the John Abraham starrer, saying it would adversely affect his trial which is going on in a lower court.

Apart from him, Shahzad Ahmed, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the case and has challenged the verdict in the high court, is also a petitioner in the matter.

Both are also facing trial in connection with the serial bomb blasts in Delhi in September 2008.

The producers of the movie, however, claimed that it is an 'unsubstantiated apprehension' of the petitioners that it is them in the film. The court did not appear to agree with the contention, saying characters in the film do purport to be persons in the two cases.  -- PTI
image
19:24   Malaysian PM hopes India, Pak would exercise 'utmost restraint'
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday expressed hope that India and Pakistan would exercise 'utmost restraint' to prevent further escalation that could be detrimental to the peace and stability in the region after the Indian government revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir.

"Prime Minister Imran Khan among others, referred to the need to respect the relevant UN Security Council resolutions related to Jammu and Kashmir," Mahathir's office said in a statement.

"Malaysia would like to encourage all stakeholders to abide by the relevant USNC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir towards the maintenance of international peace and security," the statement said.

It said that Malaysia was concerned over the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir.

"As a close partner to both India and Pakistan, Malaysia places high hope that the two neighbours will exercise utmost restraint to prevent further escalation that could be detrimental to the peace, stability and prosperity in the region," the statement said.

Malaysia always believe that dialogues and consultations are the best routes to a peaceful and amicable solution over the long standing issue, it said.  -- PTI
image
18:54   J&K: Govt employees asked to return on duty
Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary issues orders to all government employees 'who are working at divisional level, district level and those serving in civil secretariat Srinagar, to report back to their duties with immediate effect'.

The government has 'further intimated that necessary arrangements regarding smooth and secure working environment for the employees have been made by the administration'.

As per an order issued today by the district administration Samba, all the educational institutions including government and private schools shall re-open with effect from August 9, 2019, to function as usual.  -- ANI
image
18:45   Time will tell if peace prevails in J&K: Kamal Nath on Article 370
Madhya Pradesh Chief MinisterKamal Nath on Thursday said only time will tell whether theModi government's move of scrapping of Article 370 willestablish peace and bring down terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Madhya Pradesh government's guest house named 'Madhyalok' at Vashi in neighboring Navi Mumbai.

"Only time will tell how many employment opportunities are generated and whether acts of terrorism come down in Jammu and Kashmir after the removal of Article 370...that is the biggest question before us," he said.

"Talking about what will happen in a day or two after the removal of Article 370 is actually meaningless," Nath said,adding, "It remains to be seen whether peace prevails in Jammu and Kashmir and terror activities come down."

When asked about party colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia coming out in support of the Modi government's move on Article 370, Nath said, "He (Scindia) is with the Congress Working Committee's proposal on the issue and will finally support the party's resolution on it."   -- PTI
image
18:28  
All the recipients of Bharat Ratna.
image
18:23   India is being ruled by a Hindu Taliban
Narendra Modi is clamping down on tolerance and freedom of expression. In Britain we have a responsibility to speak out against it, Anish Kapoor wrote in 2015.
Read the column here
image
18:19   Pranab receives Bharat Ratna
Former President Pranab Mukherjee receives 'Bharat Ratna' from President Ram Nath Kovind.

Mukherjee greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu after receiving 'Bharat Ratna'.

Son of Bhupen Hazarika, Tej Hazarika, also received Bharat Ratna on his behalf.

Legendary Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika was conferred Bharat Ratna posthumously.   -- ANI
image
18:14   US supports direct Indo-Pak talks, says official
The United States will continue to support 'direct dialogue' between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern, a State Department official has said while urging for calm and restraint along the Line of Control.

The US is also 'closely following' India's legislation regarding the new territorial status and governance of Jammu and Kashmir and its broader implications, the official said on Wednesday.

The Indian Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Reacting to India's move, Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi.

"The US is closely following India's legislation regarding the new territorial status and governance of Jammu and Kashmir. We note the broader implications of these developments, including the potential for increased instability in the region," a State Department spokesperson told PTI.

"We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern," the State Department spokesperson said.

The official was responding to a question on the situation in South Asia after Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and downgraded the diplomatic ties with India.

India had also rejected any mediation effort by US President Donald Trump on the Kashmir issue.

New Delhi has consistently maintained that there is no room for a third party mediation on Kashmir.

The State Department spokesperson said that 'the US calls for calm and restraint by all parties'.

US this week had also said there was an 'urgent need' for dialogue among all actors to reduce tensions and to avoid a potential military escalation in South Asia.

The spokesperson also expressed concern over detention of people in Jammu and Kashmir, saying, "We continue to be concerned by reports of detentions and the continued restrictions on the residents of Jammu and Kashmir."

"We urge respect for individual rights, compliance with legal procedures, and inclusive dialogue with those affected."

The US, the spokesperson said, calls on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control, including 'taking firm and resolute steps' to combat cross-border terrorism.   -- PTI
image
17:28   India's envoy to Pak on his way home
Just in: India's envoy to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria is on his way home via the Wagah border. Pakistan has asked the Indian high commissioner to return from Islamabad and said it would also not be sending an envoy to India. 


Pakistan announced a downscaling of diplomatic ties with India, suspension of bilateral trade and vowed to approach the United Nations Security Council for intervention over the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. 
image
17:25   Pakistan to approach UNSC on Kashmir
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Thursday announced that Pakistan would take the matter of India revoking the special status for occupied Kashmir to the United Nations Security Council, the Dawn reports.


Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he said the decision had been taken in light of several pre-existing UN resolutions on the Kashmir dispute.


The minister said Pakistan rejected New Delhi's impression that scrapping Article 370 of the Indian constitution was its "internal matter", saying the claim was wrong from a historical, legal and moral perspective. Read more 
image
17:24   Pak blinks, ready to review decisions against India
Pakistan is ready to review its decision against India if New Delhi agreed to reconsider its actions on Kashmir, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday.


Qureshi's remarks came a day after Pakistan expelled the Indian High Commissioner as part of its decision to downgrade the diplomatic ties with India over what it called New Delhi's "unilateral and illegal" move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan also announced that it will review all "bilateral arrangements" with India.  


"Are they ready to review their decisions? If they do, we can also review our decisions. Review will be on both sides. That is what Simla (agreement) says," Qureshi said. Earlier, the Pakistan Railways Minister announced that the Samjhauta Express train service with India has been suspended. -- PTI
image
17:21   Azad questioning integrity of Kashmiris: Govt
The government reacts to the Congress party's J-K leader on his claim on Kashmiris that "Paise dekar aap kisiko bhi saath le sakte ho (Anyone can be brought along with money).


MoS PMO Jitendra Singh said, "He is seasoned leader, because to say something like this would amount to questioning integrity of Kashmiris. Let's not forget resolution to abrogate Article370 was passed by both Houses."


The BJP hit back at Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for alleging that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's visit to Jammu and Kashmir was orchestrated with money, and demanded his apology, saying that the remarks could be used by Pakistan on global forums.


After the Centre stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status granted under Article 370 of the Constitution, NSA Doval undertook a whirlwind visit to the militancy-infested south Kashmir and was seen sharing lunch on Wednesday with locals on a footpath outside closed shops. The pictures and videos went viral on social media. 
image
17:03   Hafiz Saeed not released: Pakistan dismisses media reports
Denying media reports, Pakistan on Thursday said Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed has not been released.


"Hafiz Saeed has not been released," Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said dismissing media reports over the release of outlawed Saeed.


During the Foreign Office weekly press briefing, he spoke in detail about the situation in the Indian-occupied Kashmir after Article 370 was abolished.


Last month, the Counter-Terrorism Department officials arrested Saeed in Gujranwala, Punjab. The JuD chief was charged with gathering funds for banned outfits. -- ANI
image
17:03   Hafiz Saeed not released: Pakistan dismisses media reports
Denying media reports, Pakistan on Thursday said Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed has not been released.


"Hafiz Saeed has not been released," Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said dismissing media reports over the release of outlawed Saeed.


During the Foreign Office weekly press briefing, he spoke in detail about the situation in the Indian-occupied Kashmir after Article 370 was abolished.


Last month, the Counter-Terrorism Department officials arrested Saeed in Gujranwala, Punjab. The JuD chief was charged with gathering funds for banned outfits. -- ANI
image
16:56   The shame of Srinagar's Gupkar Road
Jammu and Kashmir's power street, the famed Gupkar Road near Srinagar's city centre, has turned into an ignominious symbol of powerlessness overnight.The street is home to two families -- the Abdullahs and Muftis -- between whom power has shuttled for the past quarter of a century.


Four chief ministers -- Farooq Abdullah, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- have ruled Jammu and Kashmir from here. Mufti did not live to see the helplessness of this street but the three others are a living testimony to that shame.


Read the report here. 
image
16:49   UCO Bank narrows net loss to Rs 601 cr in Q1
State-owned UCO Bank on Thursday reported narrowing of its net loss to Rs 601.45 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, as bad loan provisioning declines. The bank had posted a net loss of Rs 633.88 crore in the corresponding April-June period of the previous financial year. Its total income in the June 2019 quarter rose to Rs 4,446.61 crore as against Rs 4,360.88 crore in the year-ago quarter, the bank said in a regulatory filing. 


The bank's asset quality witnessed slight improvement, with the gross non-performing assets standing at 24.85 per cent of the gross advances as at the end of June 2019, as against 25.71 per cent a year ago. Net NPAs stood at 8.98 per cent, down from 12.74 per cent. -- PTI
image
16:26   Pakistan says work on Kartarpur corridor will continue
Pakistan said on Thursday that it remains committed to complete the much-awaited Kartarpur corridor despite its decision to downgrade the diplomatic ties with New Delhi.


The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev. "The Kartarpur initiative will continue," Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said.


Addressing the weekly media briefing, Foreign Office Spokesperson Muhammad Faisal also said that Pakistan's Kartarpur initiative will continue notwithstanding the latest developments. Faisal said Pakistan respected all religions and would continue the Kartarpur project to help Sikh pilgrims.


In November 2018, India and Pakistan agreed to set up a border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur - the final resting place of Guru Nanak - to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district. 


The shrine is visible from the Indian side of the border and every day a larger number of Sikh devotees gather to perform Darshan or sacred viewings of the site. 


According to reports, 90 per cent work on the Kartarpur corridor, including the construction of the main road, bridge and buildings from zero line to Gurdwara Sahib has been completed by Pakistan. -- PTI


Image:  Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur - the final resting place of Guru Nanak.
image
16:16   Pak curtails Samjhauta Exp at Wagah, India to the rescue
CPRO, Northern Railways, Deepak Kumar, has this update on the Samjhauta Express. He says the train plies between Lahore and Attari which is still continuing. "Pakistan authorities had raised issues regarding security of the train's crew and guard. We have told them that the situation this side is perfectly normal. The train is standing in the Wagah side which has around 110 passengers. Our engine has also left from Attari. We'll bring the train from Wagah to Attari. 70 passengers are waiting here who will travel to Pakistan, so to say that the train has been cancelled is not right."
image
15:57   After aerial survey Maha CM meets flood affected
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited Shivaji Nagar area in Kolhapur to review rescue and relief operations. The CM also met flood-affected people staying at Kalyani Hall in Kolhapur, today. 


In the backdrop of unprecedented floods in western Maharashtra, Karnataka has agreed to release five lakh cusecs water from Almatti dam to help affected people in Kolhapur and Sangli districts, an official said on Thursday. 


The official from the Chief Minister's Office said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday spoke to his Karnataka counterpart B S Yediyurappa, who agreed to release five lakh cusecs water from Almatti Dam in Karnataka. This will help to bring down the water level in the flood-affected areas in western Maharashtra, he said.


Fadnavis on Thursday conducted an aerial survey to review the flood situation in Sangli and Kolhapur districts. He has cancelled his programmes as part of the Maha Janadesh Yatra ahead of Assembly elections. 


The first phase of the Yatra was to conclude on Friday in Dhule and Nandurbar districts of north Maharashtra but that has been cancelled, the CMO official said. Altogether 22 rescue teams are working in Kolhapur (NDRF-5, Navy-14, Coast Guard-1, Army column-1, SDRF-1), the official said. In Sangli, 11 teams have been deployed (NDRF-8, Coast Guard-2, Army-1), he added. Five more NDRF teams reached Pune, of which two teams are on way to Kolhapur and two to Sangli to assist the local administration in floor rescue operations.
image
15:21   Pak 'permanently stops' Samjhauta Exp to India
Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed's first statement on the decision to suspend the Samjhauta Express train service to India: "In a decision by the Railways Ministry, Samjhauta Express services have been permanently stopped. It used to ply twice a week. The people who had already purchased their tickets can get their money reimbursed from Lahore DS office."


To bring you up to speed, Indian crew members and guard escorted the Samjhauta Express from the Wagah border to Attari after Pakistan authorities stopped the train on their side, sources said. They said that Pakistan had stopped the train at the Wagah border claiming security concerns, and passengers were stranded briefly. 


"When we received the information from the Pakistani authorities at around 2:14 pm, we assured them that there are no security concerns and the train should come here. However, we also told them that if necessary an Indian crew and guard will escort the train to Attari," a senior railway official told PTI. 


As per the latest information, the Indian crew had moved the train from Wagah and it is expected to arrive at Attari shortly.


The train service was started on July 22, 1976 under the Simla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations. On the Indian side, the train runs from Delhi to Attari and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side.
image
14:57   Ayodhya: SC asks how birth place can be made party to land dispute
The Supreme Court Thursday asked 'Ram Lalla Virajman', one of the parties in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya, as to how the birth place of the deity can be regarded as a "juristic person" having stakes in the case. 


The apex court, which was hearing the case on the third day, said that so far as Hindu deities are concerned, they have been treated as juristic person in law which can hold properties and institute a litigation.


A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, however, asked senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing for 'Ram Lalla Virajman', as to how 'Janamsthanam' (birth place) can file a suit in this matter as a party. 


"Whether the birth place can be held to be a juristic person. So far as idols of deities are concerned, they had been held to be a juristic person," said the bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.


Responding to the query, Parasaran told the bench, "In Hindu religion, idols are not necessary for a place to be regarded as a holy place of worship.... Rivers and Sun are also worshipped in Hinduism and birth place in itself can be treated as a juristic person."


The law suit filed by the deity in the Ayodhya case has also made the birth place of Lord Ram as one of the parties. The bench then referred to a judgement of the Uttarakhand High Court in which the holy river Ganga was held to be a juristic entity entitled to pursue the litigation. 


"The Uttarakhand High Court has said that the rivers are also juristic entities capable of being a party in the case," the bench observed. The bench then asked Parasaran to proceed with his submissions on other issues. Parasaran alleged that the deity 'Ram Lalla Virajaman' was not made a party when the magistrate had attached the disputed site and when the civil court granted injunction by appointing receiver in the case. 


Highlighting the importance of birth place, Parasaran recited a Sanskrit Shloka, 'Janani janmbhoomis cha swargadapi gariyasi', and said that a birth place is greater than heaven. The argument would continue in the post-lunch session. 


At the outset, senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party, said that the two separate law suits filed by 'Ram Lalla Virajman' and 'Nirmohi Akhara' respectively are at "loggerheads" of each other and if one is allowed then other goes automatically. He suggested that the Muslim party can be asked to advance submissions in either of the law suits as only can be allowed legally.-- PTI
image
14:46   Pak blackout for Indian films
"No Indian movie to be screened in Pakistani cinemas," says Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister on I&B.
image
14:39   PM to address nation at 8 pm, not 4 pm
There's a change in time -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing the nation at 8 pm today. It was earlier announced that the address, on All India Radio, would be at 4 pm. Now, the Prime Minister's address to the nation will be a television broadcast.


The first indication that there could be a change in timing or even a cancellation was when All India Radio said in a tweet that PM Modi will be addressing the nation at 4 pm and then withdrew the tweet, triggering confusion.  


While there is no official confirmation, it is being speculated that the PM may finally speak to the nation on the decision to scrap Article 370. 


According to a report in PTI, PM Modi is expected to explain the government's decisions on abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir and splitting the state into two union territories.
image
14:11   Pakistan suspends Samjhauta train service
Pakistani authorities have suspended the Samjhauta Express train service between Pakistan and India until further notice, amidst tense bilateral ties in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories. The train departs on Monday and Thursday from Lahore.


Pakistan has taken several steps against India --  including downgrading of diplomatic relations and suspension of bilateral trade -- to lodge its protest against New Delhi's move to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status. 


Islamabad also announced that its airspace would be partially closed to India, for a month.


Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan chaired a crucial meeting of the National Security Committee in Islamabad which was attended by the top civil and military leadership. 


After the meeting, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that they will send India's High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria back to India.


The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for "agreement', comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach. The train service was started on July 22, 1976 under the Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations.


Pakistan had suspended the train service in February in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack by the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad.
image
13:56   Kashmir like a concentration camp: Adhir Ranjan
In yet another controversial remark, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, on Thursday compared the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir with that of the infamous concentration camps on Nazi Germany.


Questioning the government's approach on the issue, Chowdhury said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not living up to his theory of embracing Kashmiris instead of controlling them with muscle power.


"Prime Minister had announced from Red Fort that we will take Kashmiris forward not with bullets but by embracing them. But today, the situation in Kashmir is similar to that of a concentration camp. There is no mobile or internet connection. Amarnath pilgrimage was curtailed despite heavy security presence. What is happening there?" he told ANI.


He said the Centre was creating an environment in the Valley which gives people a chance to raise questions.


Choudhary stoked controversy during a debate in Lok Sabha on Tuesday by questioning India's long-established position that Kashmir is an "internal matter" and no country has the right to intervene into it.


Speaking in the House on a resolution to abrogate special status to Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, he asked how was Kashmir issue an "internal matter" if "United Nations is monitoring it since 1948."


His remarks not only are contrary to New Delhi's decade-old stand on Kashmir but is also in stark contrast to the country's views on UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan, a group of UN military observers deputed in 1949 to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.


However, the Congress leader swung into damage control, calling the Kasmir an "internal issue". He also said that he was questioning the government and was not opposing the country. 


Parliament stripped of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 of the Constitution on Tuesday. -- ANI 
image
13:50   Diary of Srinagar lockdown
"I may have never ever felt so shut out and so shut down. Not during the protracted military operations of the IPKF in northern Sri Lanka. Not during the many weeks I was on the frontier reporting the Kargil war. Not during the Tahrir Square uprising in Cairo. Not even during the darkest I have witnessed in Kashmir over the past decades.... This was not even censorship, not about what you can or cannot report. This was being cut out and left cold."


The Telegraph's Sankarshan Thakur returned to New Delhi from Srinagar on Wednesday and wrote this diary on the information blackout.


A reporter's worst nightmare is not being able to tell the story; this week, the powers enacted it coldly, and with singular completeness. But it's poor form to complain of being pinched when everything around you is being hammered. The reporter in Kashmir this week was a niggling collateral to seismic enactments whose impulsive after-tremors have been stilled by jackboots and commanded at gunpoint to behave.


These are fragments from a diary that lay proscribed for days. Do read 


File pic. 
image
13:33   India annexes Kashmir and brings us back to Partition
"Whatever these and other Kashmiris have wanted, I am certain they didn't want what they got this week: Kashmir's special status, and relative autonomy, under India's Constitution revoked. 


Some 35,000 more soldiers in the world's most militarized region, schools shut, offices shut, the internet snatched away, landlines dead. Local political leaders -- even those happy to collaborate with the Indian authorities in New Delhi -- locked up. 


"A former chief minister of the region said, hours before being arrested, that it had been a mistake to side with India at Partition. And now India is taking us back to Partition all over again by annexing Kashmir and throwing millions of its citizens in a cage."


Read Pakistani novelist Hamid Mir's column for the New York Times.
image
13:17   Kashmir Cong leader supports scrapping Art 370
Veteran Congress leader Karan Singh on Thursday said he does not agree with a blanket condemnation of the government's move on Jammu and Kashmir, pointing out what he called were its several positives. 


Singh, son of former J&K ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, welcomed the union territory status for Ladakh and said political dialogue must continue in Kashmir to help resolve the issue. 


In a statement issued in New Delhi, the Congress leader said he supported the abrogation of provisions of Article 35A as the issue of gender-discrimination needed to be addressed. He, however, said two main political parties of Jammu and Kashmir -- the Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference -- should not be termed "anti-national".


Image: The statement issued by Karan Singh says the two main political parties of Jammu and Kashmir -- the Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference -- should not be termed "anti-national".
image
12:56   I care about Kashmir as South Asia is my home: Malala
Everyone has an opinion on Kashmir. 

Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai on Thursday said that she cared about Kashmir because South Asia is her home. "I care about Kashmir because South Asia is my home -- a home I share with 1.8 billion people including Kashmiris. We represent different cultures, religions, languages, cuisines and customs. And I believe we all can live in peace," she tweeted.


"I know we can appreciate the gifts that all of our people, in all their diversity, contribute to our world. There is no need for us to continue to suffer and hurt each other," Malala added.


The youngest Nobel Laureate, she is an advocate for girls' education and women's equality.. -- ANI
image
12:45   Ghulam Nabi Azad stopped at Srinagar airport
The Congress party's J-K chief and leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha has been stopped at Srinagar airport as a preventive measure.  He was supposed to meet local Congress leaders who are against the abrogation of Article 370 and the reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into union territories. 


Over 500 important political workers and leaders, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been detained in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre decided to revoke provisions of Article 370 and divide the state to two union territories, officials said.

Activists across the political spectrum have been detained in Srinagar as well as other parts of the valley, they said.


According to latest reports, about 560 such workers have been lodged in makeshift detention centres in Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre in Srinagar and other such centres in Baramulla and Gurez.
image
12:35  
Amul's tribute to Sushma Swaraj 
image
12:25   India reacts to Pak: Art 370 our internal matter
The Ministry of External Affairs' statement on Pakistan downgrading diplomatic relations with India in the wake of the revocation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. 


"We have seen reports that Pakistan has decided to take certain unilateral actions in respect of its bilateral relations with India. This includes the downgrading of our diplomatic relations. 


"It is not surprising that such developmental initiatives that could address any disaffection in Jammu and Kashmir should be negatively perceived in Pakistan, which has utilized such sentiments to justify its cross-border terrorism. 


"We have seen reports that Pakistan has decided to take certain unilateral actions in respect to its bilateral relations with India. This includes the downgrading of our diplomatic relations. 


The recent developments pertaining to Article 370 are entirely the internal affair of India. The Constitution of India was, is and will always be a sovereign matter. Seeking to interfere in that jurisdiction by invoking an alarmist vision of the region will never succeed."


Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria, minutes after it decided to downgrade the diplomatic ties with India in the wake of New Delhi's 'unilateral and illegal' move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.


This was announced after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a crucial meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) in Islamabad, attended by top civil and military leadership, during which it was also decided to suspend the bilateral trade and review 'bilateral arrangements'.


India on Monday revoked Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.


A statement issued after the NSC meeting read that the Committee discussed situation 'arising out of unilateral and illegal actions' by the Indian government, situation inside Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control.


The Committee decided 'downgrading of diplomatic relations with India' and 'suspension of bilateral trade with India', the statement said.
image
12:04  
All India Radio has deleted its tweet about the address of PM Narendra Modi to the nation through its platform, today.
image
11:54   Dear departed
Tigress T-23 died at Bandhavgarh National Park late last night. It was 17-years-old. Carcass sent for postmortem. 

Yes, and that looks like a hen near its paws. 
image
11:49   Sushma Swaraj's ashes immersed in Ganga
Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, immerses her mother's ashes in the River Ganga in Hapur. Sushma Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal also in the picture. 


The mortal remains of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj were consigned to flames on Wednesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders, besides family, friends and admirers bid a tearful adieu to the political stalwart.


A sea of mourners had gathered at the Lodhi Road crematorium in New Delhi where she was cremated with full state honours.


Swaraj, one of India's most high-profile woman politicians, who brought a rare empathy and a human approach to India's diplomacy, died at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi late Tuesday night, plunging the nation in a state of grief.
image
11:46   PM's radio talk at 4 pm today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation in a special broadcast by All India Radio at 4 pm today.  The Prime Minister is likely to address the nation on the central government's decision of scrapping Article 370 and splitting the state into two Union Territories.


PM Modi would explain the government's historic step of the abrogation of Article 370, which earlier gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir in his address.


President Kovind on Wednesday signed the abrogation of Article 370 which accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, after a resolution regarding the same was passed in both houses of the Parliament earlier this week. 
image
11:22   SC commences third-day hearing, Ram Lalla's counsel to continue arguments
The Supreme Court on Thursday commenced hearing on the third day in the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case in Ayodhya after efforts to arrive at an amicable settlement through mediation failed.


Senior advocate K Prasaran, appearing for deity 'Ram Lalla', commenced arguments on before a five judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. 


The counsel for Ram Lalla Virajmaan, the deity which itself has been made a party to the politically and religiously sensitive case, had on Wednesday told the court that the "unshakeable faith" of millions of believers is sufficient to prove that the entire disputed site at Ayodhya was the birth place of Lord Ram. 


The bench -- also comprising justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer -- had last Friday taken note of the report of the three-member mediation panel, headed by former apex court judge FMI Kalifulla, which said that the mediation proceedings, which went on for about four months, have not resulted in any final settlement. PTI
image
11:03   SC refuses urgent hearing on Kashmir clampdown
The Supreme Court refuses an urgent hearing on a plea filed by Tehseen Poonawalla seeking withdrawal of curfew, blocking of phone lines, internet, news channels and other restrictions from Jammu and Kashmir. The court also refuses to give an early hearing to a mentioning by lawyer, Manohar Lal Sharma, challenging the abrogation of Article 370. Division bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said, "the matter would be placed before the appropriate bench, that is the CJI, for listing the matter".


Over 500 important political workers and leaders, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been detained in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre decided to revoke provisions of Article 370 and divide the state to two union territories, officials said. Activists across the political spectrum have been detained in Srinagar as well as other parts of the valley, they said.
image
10:51   Maharashtra floods: Five teams of NDRF airlifted to Pune
Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force were airlifted from Punjab for the rescue operations in the flood-hit state of Maharashtra, sources said on Thursday.


The teams will arrive in Pune and spread to flood-affected areas of Sangli and Kolhapur.


Till now, the NDRF has rescued over 3,000 and 2, 900 people from Kolhapur and Sangli district, respectively.


As per an official statement by Divisional Commissioner of Pune Division, Deepak Mhaisekar, four people have died in Pune, seven in Satara, two in Sangli, two in Kolhapur and one in Solapur.


A total of 1,32,360 people from 28,397 families have been evacuated from these districts, it stated.Incessant rains in several parts across the state have resulted in massive waterlogging and flood-like situation.


Rescue and relief operations are underway on a war footing in the rain-affected areas of the state.  -- ANI
image
10:46   Coastal Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, to receive heavy rainfall today
The India Meteorological Department on Thursday said that isolated places over Coastal Karnataka, Konkan and Goa are likely to receive heavy rainfall today.


The organisation further stated that heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls at isolated places over West Madhya Pradesh, East Rajasthan, Madhya Maharashtra, Kerala, Mahe and South Interior Karnataka. ""Heavy rainfall at isolated places over Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, SubHimalayan West Bengal, Sikkim and Odisha," the IMD added.


Strong winds, speed reaching 40-50 kmph, are likely to prevail over north, central and southwest Arabian Sea, central and south Bay of Bengal and along and off West Coast and West Bengal-Odisha-Andhra coasts and the Andaman Sea.


The IMD has also advised fishermen not to venture into these areas for the next few days. 


With predictions of heavy rainfall, Kerala Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday issued 'Red Alert' warning for Idukki, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts for the next 24 hours.Thrissur, Palakkad, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod were issued 'Orange Alerts' for today. 


In addition, all schools and colleges in Malappuram and Wayanad districts will remain closed.


Meanwhile, 'Orange Alert' warnings were issued for Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kasargod districts for Friday.


For Saturday, two districts- Idukki and Kozhikode have been issued 'Orange Alert' warnings.Indian Meteorological Department on Wednesday had predicted 'Fairly widespread' to 'widespread rainfall' with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall in the state of Kerala for the next three days.


'Red Alert' warning denotes that an area will receive very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall.


An 'Orange Alert' warning denotes heavy to very heavy rainfall in a particular area.
image
10:31   Pranab Mukherjee to be awarded Bharat Ratna today
Former President Pranab Mukherjee, will be honoured with India's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna by President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday.


Mukherjee's life-long political career spanned about five decades, during which he held various key posts in the Congress as well as in the governments led by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh.


The 83-year-old served as India's 13th President from 2012-2017, but prior to his election to the post, Mukherjee also served as the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012.As Finance Minister, Mukherjee signed the letter appointing Manmohan Singh as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.


Born on December 11, 1935, in a Bengali family in Mirati, a village in Birbhum district in West Bengal, Mukherjee completed his Masters in Political Science and History and LLB degree from University of Calcutta.


After being selected for India's highest civilian award, former President, popularly known as 'Pranab Da', had expressed his gratitude on being conferred with the Bharat Ratna saying "I've received much more from the people and from this country than I have given to it".


"I would like to express my deep gratitude to the people of this country...At the same time, with all humility, I accept this honour. I have conveyed my appreciation by talking to the President of the Republic. I also convey my deepest gratitude to the people of this country," he had told media on January 26.


Political leaders across party lines had also wished Mukherjee when his name was announced for Bharat Ratna in January, this year. -- ANI
image
10:24   Azad's 'sellout' barb on NSA Doval's J-K visit
Congress MP and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad is set to travel to Srinagar today, but is likely to be sent back from the airport. 


When asked about pictures of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval interacting with locals in Shopian yesterday, Azad snapped back, "Paise dekar aap kisiko bhi saath le sakte ho. Anyone will back you for money."


Yesterday, the National Security Advisor reviewed the security situation at a meeting attended by senior security officials in Shopian, J-K, even as Parliament passed a resolution abrogating Article 370. Doval directed the officials to ensure that common people do not face any hardships in the wake of the recent development pertaining to the state. He also spoke to locals and ate at food stall. He reached out to the local population in the as a confidence building measure, and told them, "Everything will be alright. Your safety and security is our responsibility." 
image
10:03   Tehseen Poonawalla moves SC on J-K clampdown
A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by Tehseen Poonawalla seeking withdrawal of curfew, blocking of phone lines, internet, news channels and other restrictions from Jammu and Kashmir. The plea also seeks "immediate release of political leaders from illegal custody". The plea will be mentioned today. Poonawalla is a Congress ideologue and lawyer. 


Over 500 important political workers and leaders, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been detained in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre decided to revoke provisions of Article 370 and divide the state to two union territories, officials said.


Activists across the political spectrum have been detained in Srinagar as well as other parts of the valley, they said.


According to latest reports, about 560 such workers have been lodged in makeshift detention centres in Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre in Srinagar and other such centres in Baramulla and Gurez.


Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah of the National Conference and Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP have been detained at Hari Niwas on Gupkar road.


Amid the restrictions in place in the city, one person was killed in Noorbagh locality. A group of youngsters had gathered in the area and they were chased by CRPF personnel because of confusion over curfew, they said.
image
09:22   What it's like inside Kashmir when all communication with the outside world is cut off
Delivered on a bright Monday morning, Imaad Tariq was one of the first babies born into Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modis Naya Kashmir or new Kashmir. But most of his family has no idea he has been born. Nobody knows that my wife delivered a baby boy, says Tariq Ahmad Sheikh, 40, walking in the hospital courtyard the day after his son was born. We couldnt inform family nor is anyone able to reach here. 

Amid this communications blackhole, read this moving piece by Fahad Shah, a Kashmiri journalist and the founder and editor of The Kashmir Walla, a weekly newspaper, HERE

image
09:07   Has 'muscular nationalism' resolved any conflict in world, asks Chidambaram
Senior Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday attacked the government over its actions on Jammu and Kashmir, asking if "muscular nationalism" has resolved any conflict in the world.
  
The Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and divided it into two union territories. 

Chidambaram also cited former civil servant Shah Faesal's comments on the issue to hit out at the government.

"Shah Faesal came first in the Civil Services Examination and joined the IAS. He has called the government's actions on J&K as 'the biggest betrayal'," Chidambaram said in one of a series of tweets.

If Shah Faesal thinks so, imagine what millions of ordinary people of J&K think, he said.

"Has 'muscular nationalism' resolved any conflict anywhere in the world?" Chidambaram asked.

-- PTI
image
08:47   IAF pilot Abhinandan likely to get Vir Chakra
The government is likely to announce military decorations for Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 during a dogfight over the Line of Control on February 27 and the Mirage-2000 pilots involved in the operation a day before that to precision bomb a terror base in Pakistans Balakot. 

Varthaman is likely to be awarded a Vir Chakra for his exploits, and the five Mirage-2000 fighter aces who dropped bombs on the terror facility of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Vayu Sena Medal for gallantry. 

Varthaman, then 35, scripted military aviation history by downing an F-16, seconds before his own MiG-21 Bison was hit by a missile forcing him to eject. Experts hailed it as the first ever kill of an F-16 by a MiG-21 Bison, fighter jets of two different generations. Varthaman was captured after he bailed out of his aircraft, but Pakistan returned him to India on March 1 after holding him captive for almost 60 hours.

The February 27 dogfight took place a day after the Mirage-2000s struck targets in Balakot in response to the Pulwama suicide attack in Kashmir in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force men were killed on February 14.

Vir Chakra is Indias third-highest wartime gallantry award, after the Param Vir Chakra and the Maha Vir Chakra.
image
08:09   PM may address nation on Kashmir decision today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the nation today during which he is expected to explain government's decisions on abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir and splitting the state into two union territories, sources have said.

The last time he addressed the nation was on March 27 during the Lok Sabha elections when he announced that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile (A-Sat) capability by shooting down a live satellite.

The parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution. It also cleared a bill to split the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The proposed address comes days before the prime minister's customary address to the nation on Independence Day from the Red Fort.
image
07:48   US closely following status of J-K: Official
The United States is closely following India's legislation regarding the new territorial status and governance of Jammu and Kashmir, a State Department official said, hours after Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and downgraded its diplomatic ties.

The developments came after the Indian Parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution abrogating special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and a bill for splitting the state into two Union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. 

"The US is closely following India's legislation regarding the new territorial status and governance of Jammu and Kashmir. We note the broader implications of these developments, including the potential for increased instability in the region," said a State Department spokesperson.

The spokesperson was responding to a question on the situation in the region after Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and downgraded the diplomatic ties with India over what it called New Delhi's "unilateral and illegal" move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

On Wednesday, the US had also said there was an "urgent need" for dialogue among all actors to reduce tensions and to avoid a potential military escalation in South Asia. 

The State Department spokesperson said that "the US calls for calm and restraint by all parties".

Expressing concern over detention of people in Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson said, "We continue to be concerned by reports of detentions and the continued restrictions on the residents of Jammu and Kashmir."  

"We urge respect for individual rights, compliance with legal procedures, and inclusive dialogue with those affected."

The US, the spokesperson said, calls on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control, including "taking firm and resolute steps" to combat cross-border terrorism.  

"We continue to support direct dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir and other issues of concern," the spokesperson said. 

India has maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part and the issue of withdrawing special status to the state and its bifurcation are strictly internal to the country. 

-- PTI
image
00:31   'Urgent need' for talks: US after Pak's move
There is an 'urgent need' for dialogue among all actors to reduce tensions and to avoid a potential military escalation in South Asia, the United States said on Wednesday, hours after Pakistan expelled the Indian envoy and downgraded its diplomatic ties.

Pakistan on Wednesday expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and downgraded the diplomatic ties with India over what it called New Delhi's 'unilateral and illegal' move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

"There is urgent need for dialogue among all actors to reduce tensions and to avoid the potential for military escalation," a senior Trump Administration official told PTI in response to a question on the developments in South Asia.

"The United States would welcome improved relations between India and Pakistan, and we will continue to support efforts that reduce tensions and create an environment conducive for a direct dialogue between India and Pakistan," the official said on condition of anonymity.

The official also refuted media reports that India consulted or informed the US about its decisions on Jammu and Kashmir.

"The Indian government did not consult or inform the US government before moving to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special constitutional status," the official said.

Multiple media reports from the US and India said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had informed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the Indian decision on Jammu and Kashmir when they met in Bangkok last week.

"The US calls for calm and restraint on all sides, noting the history of violence and conflict in the region," the official added.  -- PTI