Zakir Musa announced as head of new Al Qaida-linked cell

Appointment of Zakir Musa represents deepest inroad al-Qaida has made in disputed region An al-Qaida-affiliated propaganda channel has announced one of Kashmir’s most popular militant leaders as the head of a newly created cell in the disputed Himalayan territory. The appointment of Zakir Musa as head of the new group represents the first time militants linked to al-Qaida have operated openly in Kashmir, site of a decades-long separatist insurgency and the only Muslim-majority region under Indian control. Musa, 23, is the leading figure among a new generation of militants who…

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2017 more depressing for Kashmir tourism than strife-hit 2016

With more than half of this year’s tourist season over, alarm bells are already ringing for those associated with the tourism industry in Kashmir. “If you thought 2016 was the worst that could hit us, you are wrong. Tourism-wise, 2017 has been worse than last year. Another year like this and it is shutters down for hoteliers of the Valley,” said Aijaz Ahmad Chaya, a well-known hotel owner who has establishments in the tourist resorts of Pahalgam and Gulmarg. The story of the average restaurant owner, tea-stall owner and those…

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National Conference marches against killings, price hike in Kashmir capital

Hundreds of National Conference (NC) workers, led by senior party leader Ali Muhammad Sagar, on Thursday staged a march against the civilian killings and price hike in the state. The protesters were heading towards the Governor’s House when they were stopped by police near Ram Munshi Bagh police station. Over a dozen protesters, including Salman Sagar, were detained by police. The march began from the Nawa-e-Subh party headquarters in Srinagar. While raising anti-government slogans, the protesters denounced the killings, price hike and repeated curfews in Downtown Srinagar.

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J&K records Rs 4,650 crore deficit in power tariff collection: CAG

The Jammu and Kashmir government has recorded Rs 4,650 crore deficit in collection of power tariff during the year 2015-16, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said. It said the target for tariff collection has not been achieved and the shortfall was Rs 1,503 crore during 2015-16. The CAG report for the year ended March 31, 2016, which was tabled in the Assembly last month, said, “The actual sale of power is only 24.10 per cent of the purchase of power resulting in deficit of Rs…

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Will continue to oppose GST: J&K Coordination Committee

The Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC), an amalgam of traders’ bodies and civil society members, today said it would continue to create awareness against the goods and service tax (GST) by involving larger sections of the society. “People now understand how we were deceived by the government on the GST. We are currently on job and holding consultations with different stakeholders. We will soon conduct a seminar and will also decide on the future course of action,” said JKCC convenor Siraj Ahmad. The JKCC, which had recently been formed…

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Sportspersons to be felicitated on I-Day: Div Com

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan today directed all deputy commissioners to felicitate young sportspersons on the upcoming Independence Day to mark their contribution. He also asked them to involve maximum number of youth for the event. The Divisional Commissioner made the comments during a high-level officers’ meeting held here to review the arrangements for the upcoming Independence Day celebrations in the districts of the Kashmir valley and Ladakh region. An official statement said the Divisional Commissioner was apprised by the officers of the arrangements made for the smooth conduct…

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Dalai Lama visits Leh Idgah

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama visited the Leh Idgah today where both Shia and Sunni communities jointly hosted a lunch in his honour. Dalai Lama is in Ladakh for over a month-long visit since June 29. He is visiting the worship place of Muslims on the invitation of Anjuman Moin-ul Islam and Anjuman Imamia and it is his second visit to the religious place. He also released a book on the occasion titled ‘Ladakh kay tariqay aham goshay’ authored by historian Abdul Gani Sheikh. Dalai Lama felicitated two Buddhists, namely…

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Smelly bomb to douse protests in Kashmir doesn’t raise a stink

Bombs that smell like sewage didn’t meet the CRPF standards. Officials say the liquid used in the bomb is harmless and the protesters would manage to tolerate the smell without much difficulty. A bomb that smells like sewage and was intended to be used on protesters in Kashmir and elsewhere has been found to be a dud. Reason: the “high threshold of Indians to tolerate stench”. Israeli security forces have been using the bomb on Palestinian protesters through water cannons since 2008, but it didn’t meet the standards of the…

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Joint Resistance Leadership calls Friday protests against military court’s ruling, arrest of separatists

The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik Wednesday asked people to stage peaceful protests against suspension of death sentence to army men involved in Machil fake encounter and persecution and arrest of separatist leaders. In a joint statement, the separatist leaders said BJP-led government in New Delhi was working on pushing from all ends to crush the people’s movement in Kashmir. “Crackdown has been launched against separatist leadership. Besides, there was a propaganda blitzkrieg to target the leadership and their activists…

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Historic Khanqah Naqshbandia craves for attention: Neglected Heritage

The historic sixth century mosque in heart of the city is craving for attention as insects from dead pigeons and the excreta of birds drop down upon the devotees from the roof top of once majestic centre of Islamic learning which housed the holy relic of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) before being shifted to Dargah Hazratbal. Ritually on July 13 every year the who’s who of the government throngs Hazrat Khawaja Naqshband Sahab (RA) shrine to pay tributes to 1931 Martyrs who are buried here but within a short distance lies…

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