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Your bravery is bigger than your numbers: President tells soldiers – Jammu Voice

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LEH: President Ramnath Kovind on monday dedicated his visit to soldiers and complimented them for protecting the sovereignty of the country and upholding the pride and honour of the nation despite working in extreme climatic conditions.
Speaking here at the event, also attended by Army chief General Bipin Rawat, the President said, “This is my first trip outside Delhi after taking charge as the President. I chose this beautiful Leh in Jammu and Kashmir for my first visit and I am very happy to be amid our soldiers.
“Being the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, this visit is dedicated to the soldiers,” Kovind told the Scouts in Hindi.
The President reached Leh today to present the President’s Colours to the valiant Ladkah scouts. He was received at Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport, Leh by Governor, NN Vohra; Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti; Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh; Public Works Minister, Naeem Akhtar; Minister for Ladakh Affairs, Chering Dorjey; Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat among other dignitaries.
After reaching Leh, he presented the President’s Colours to Ladakh Scouts. Speaking at the event, he said, “We have pledged to protect the sovereignty of our nation in all situations.”
Lauding the soldiers, the President recalled their bravery in the Kashmir conflict in 1947-48, the war with China in 1962, the Pakistan war in 1971 and the Kargil war in 1999.
“Stationed in one of the most extreme climatic conditions, your bravery is bigger than your numbers,” he said.
“We have pledged to protect the sovereignty of our nation in all situations. I am sure we will fulfil this pledge and uphold the pride and honour of the country,” he said.
President’s Colours is one of the greatest honours bestowed on a unit in recognition of exceptional service rendered to the nation, both during war and in peace.
A spectrum of civil and military dignitaries, including the Governor and Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as a large number of serving and retired personnel, witnessed the grand ceremony.
Raised as Nubra Guards in 1948, the soldiers were amalgamated into the Indian Army as regular troops in 1963 and restructured as an Infantry Regiment in 2000.
The President praised the soldiers’ “exceptional gallantry and indomitable courage” which has earned them 605 gallantry and distinguished service awards besides many other honours, making them one of the most decorated regiments of the Indian Army.
The visit to Leh comes days after a scuffle between the Chinese and Indian Armies when some Chinese soldiers tried to cross the Line of Actual Control (LAC) near Pangong Lake in Ladakh.

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Kathua rape, murder case: Clashes continue in Kashmir

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Security forces on Saturday burst teargas shells to disperse the demonstrators, including students, at some places in Kashmir valley, protesting against rape and brutal murder of an eight-year-old girl at Kathua in Jammu.

Scores of youth hit the streets at main town Sopore in north Kashmir district of Baramulla, demanding death penalty for culprits in Kathua case.

However, when the youth tried to take out a protest march, security forces deployed in the area stopped them from moving ahead.
As the demonstrators didn’t back down, security forces burst teargas shells to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted between security forces and students, who took to streets at Chadoora in central Kashmir district of Budgam and protested against the Kathua incident.

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Kathua Factories ‘Linked’ to Ex-Minister Lal Singh Raided | Crores of Rupees was Seized.

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“Our teams raided one factory in Kathua and two in Samba districts today,” inspector general of police Jammu zone SD Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir.

Three factories in which ousted BJP minister Lal Singh is believed to own a share were raided by the police on Friday and acacia catechu (kattha) worth crores of rupees was seized.

“Our teams raided one factory in Kathua and two in Samba districts today,” inspector general of police Jammu zone SD Singh Jamwal told Greater Kashmir.

Sources said that the raids came after major reshuffle in the Forest department carried out by Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, who took over charge of the department from Choudhary Lal Singh.

The former Forest Minister was compelled to resign by his party high command alongwith Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga following their controversial remarks in Kootah’s Hindu Ekta Manch Rally against Crime Branch probe in the brutal rape and murder case at Rasana.

Sources said that the Forest Vigilance team along with Police jointly conducted raids at J K Integrated Park in Kathua (close aide of Choudhary Lal Singh) and another factory of Katha wood in Kathua.

The raids were carried out on the Katha wood factory, where medicines are extracted. The State government has banned the export of wood out of the State, while a mafia runs the trade illegally.

Sources said that the former minister “was using his influence and most of the contractors were his close aides and the factories, which were given licenses, were run by close relatives of former Forest Minister”.
During the raids, sources told Rising Kashmir, records were checked, and seized by the Forest Department officials, and it was also learnt that large quantity of raw material was seized from the spot.
“Illegal registration has been given to some factories which processed the Khair wood more than the approved capacity,” said the sources citing the complaint.

Initially there were only three units of Khair wood— JK Katha, Guru Nanak, and BK Katha (Govt contractor) at Gangyal— but now the number was much higher. The case against Lal Singh was based on the fact that he instead of renewing the licenses had given the permissions to his kith and kin to start the work of extraction.

The involvement of former Minister started after 1994, sources said, as another unit was established with the name MS Industry and it was opposed by all three previous units who lodged a complaint with the Vigilance and later the matter went to the court.
Sources said that the court gave a ruling and directed the Government to form new policy and issue fresh licenses on the bases of raw material availability without hurting ecology or environment.

Sources told Rising Kashmir that the court directions were violated and the licenses to four units were not renewed by the Forest Department by Lal Singh. The licenses were also issued in violation of rules.

Meanwhile sources said that the BJP high command is unhappy with the former Forest Minister who is openly conducting rallies in support of a CBI inquiry in the Kathua case.
Sources told Rising Kashmir that the rallies by a senior BJP leader has put the alliance partner in a tight spot as these actions by Singh are being viewed as an “open revolt” after he was forced to resign over his participation in a pro-rape rally in Hiranagar last month.

“His campaign was seen as revolt in BJP by many and, he took out a march from Jammu City to Kathua and in Udhampur where some of his supporters shouted slogans against the Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh,” sources said.
Lal Singh, sources said, is considered to be the close aide of Jatinder Singh, who is Minister of State in PMO. On Thursday, brother of Lal Singh held a press conference in Kathua and demanded that Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh should step down.

Rajinder Singh Babbi demanded that Jitendar Singh should be made Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said that the BJP high command was unhappy with the activities of Lal Singh after he lost portfolio in the Government and started taking out protest rallies demanding CBI probe in Rasana case. His stand has put the government in trouble as people in Kathua and Samba, and Bar Associations are openly demanding CBI probe.
Sources said that Lal Singh “will not be taken back in the cabinet of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti due to his rallies against the Government.”

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Asiya Andrabi, associates arrested in Anantnag in south Kashmir

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Jammu and Kashmir Police has arrested the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chief Asiya Andrabi along with her associates from Anantnag district late last night.

An official said that Andrabi and her associates were arrested from Anchidora area of the district for their alleged role in female student protests and subsequent stone-pelting on the forces.

Many other youth were also rounded up by the police during nocturnal raids in Anantnag town.

Asiya was detained at 10.00 pm yesterday after which raids followed, said the official, wishing anonymity.

Those arrested include Tehreek-e-Hurriyat tehsil Saddar Anantnag Aashiq Hussain.

Massive student protests against Kathua incident erupted earlier this week in south Kashmir, especially Anantnag town, where protesters clashed with the forces, leaving dozens of them injured.

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