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Live mortar shell triggers panic in Kathua

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A live mortar shell allegedly fired by Pakistan Rangers earlier this month was found in a field in a village in the border belt of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, leading to panic in the area, police said today.

Security forces recovered the live shell yesterday from Bobiyan village, an official said.

A farmer had found the live mortar bomb in his field and informed the villagers.

“The people were panicstricken and informed security forces, who recovered the shell,” the official said.

The shell allegedly fired by Pakistan Rangers along the International Border in Hiranagar and Samba sectors led to the killing of a BSF man on January 3

 

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BJP’s JK unit website hacked for brief period; restored

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The website of the BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit was today hacked for a brief period with the hackers posting a message demanding justice for an eight-year-old girl who was raped and murdered at Kathua in January.

The website was restored after some time.

The hackers, who called themselves “Team Kerala Cyber Warriors”, posted a message accusing the state unit of protecting a “gang of pedophiles” who had aligned with some of the ruling BJP’s office-bearers.

The hackers, who used the colours of the Indian flag in the message, said there should be nothing beyond humanity and “discrimination cannot be tolerated”.

They demanded that rapists be hanged.

BJP’s J&K unit General Secretary Ashok Kaul told PTI that the website was hacked for a brief period and had been “restored now”.

“Yes, we will file a complaint with the police. One should see the message. It seems that someone from north Kerala is responsible for the hacking. After all, the situation in Kerala is not hidden from anyone,” he said.

Kaul said it was yet another attempt to create tension in Jammu, which has been the symbol of nationalism.

The BJP had distanced itself from the Hindu Ekta Manch, which had organised a rally in favour of the eight accused arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir’s Crime Branch in connection with the Kathua rape case.

The party asked two of its ministers Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga to resign from the state cabinet as the two had participated in the rally and dared the Crime Branch to make any further arrests in the case.

The BJP had also removed its state unit secretary who was found having links with the Hindu Ekta Manch.

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Kathua case: CM praises Jammu residents for upholding amity, brotherhood

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JAMMU: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has praised the people of Jammu for upholding harmony and amity despite provocations and for standing up to demand justice for the eight-year-old girl brutally raped and killed in Kathua district.

Speaking at a civic reception hosted for President Ram Nath Kovind last night, Mufti said the people of Jammu have always stood up for tolerant values and brotherhood for the past 30 years, and defeated the “nefarious” designs of miscreants.

President Kovind is on his maiden two-day visit to Jammu.

Yesterday, he addressed the 6th convocation of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, when he condemned the rape and killing of the girl in Kathua as “heinous” and “shameful”.

The case has triggered nationwide outrage because of its brutality.

People have protested on streets across India, including in Jammu, demanding justice for the girl from a nomadic community.

The girl had disappeared from a place near her house in Kathua on January 10.

A week later, her body was found in the woods in the same area.

She was allegedly held captive in a village temple for a week, during which she was sedated and sexually assaulted before being bludgeoned to death.

Referring to the disturbing case, Mufti said she was humbled to see every section of society, including students, women and children, standing up to demand justice for the girl.

“They stood up for justice, irrespective of religious affiliations, for the girl whom they said was their own daughter. I salute them for this and for defeating the nefarious designs of vested elements,” the chief minister said.

“Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the incident shameful and sought punishment to the guilty,” she said.

She said her government is duty-bound to provide justice.

Mufti also praised the people of Jammu for accepting and sharing their resources and other facilities with the people leaving Kashmir, referring to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley during the peak of militancy.

“It’s a rare example of amity which hardly finds any parallels in contemporary world,” she added.

Mufti thanked President Kovind for visiting the state.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh expressed gratitude to the president for accepting the state’s invitation.

He said people will benefit and learn from interacting with him.

 

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Pathankot: Security beefed up following suspected terrorists movement

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Security has been beefed up and search operations are being carried out around the border belt of Punjab particularly in Pathankot district, following reports of terrorist movement in the vicinity.

Acting on the tip off early Thursday morning, the security forces immediately spread out in large numbers and searched various locations in the region.

The ITI building, where the suspects were reportedly spotted, was also thoroughly checked.

Suspicious men stopped a Maruti Alto car belonging to a Maskin Ali late on Sunday night asking for a lift. However, Ali who was with his relatives, suspected that the hitchhikers could be terrorists; hence he left the car and ran away.

Ali later on informed the Punjab Police about the same after which the search operation was launched on Monday morning.

“Some men claiming to be a part of Army asked me for a lift. I let them in but soon realised they weren’t army men. As we tried to escape they attacked us, during our tussle they fled with my car. We informed police about this at night (on Sunday) itself,” Ali said.

Talking to ANI, Inspector General Border Zone SPS Parmar said, “There were such inputs since past three to four days that some suspicious movement has been spotted. We reacted accordingly but till now nothing substantial has been found. We are collaborating with other agencies too and the search is on.”

The security has been beefed up and check posts have been alerted.

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