Srinagar Downtown; Once a commercial hub now a victim of frequent restrictions

An eerie calm, spools of concertina wire, forces personnel in riot-gear dotting the deserted streets and traumatised faces of young and old: This is the most simplified description of Srinagar’s Downtown—once a bustling commercial hub—by its residents braving the brunt of frequent restrictions imposed by the forces there. According to residents of Downtown areas, the frequent imposition of curfews and disallowing of congregational Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid have taken a serious toll on people of all ages and professions. The worst-hit, the residents say, are once-bustling markets of Mahraj…

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Congress wins Anantnag, Leh, BJP makes its mark in Kashmir

Results of 17 seats from Bandipora in north Kashmir BJP: 3 Cong: 12 Independent: 2 Results of 13 seats from Uri in North Kashmir’s Baramulla BJP: 0 Congress: 6 Independent: 7 All the 13 wards of Kupwara municipality in north Kashmir won by Independents. In Handwara municipality, which is bastion of people’s conference, six Independents have won while as one ward has been gone to BJP. The six Independents are People’s Conference candidates BJP sweeps the Mattan municipality in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Five wards won by BJP and two…

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Post IED Blast forces went wild in Trichil village, beat inhabitant, destroyed property

At least 15 persons including eight women were injured when government forces thrashed people at Trichil village in southern Pulwama district late last night, local residents alleged on Friday. The army’s Srinagar-based spokesman however said they were “ascertaining the details.” Residents of Trichil alleged that soldiers barged into their houses at around 9.50 pm on Thursday and started beating people mercilessly. The incident, they said, took place after militants triggered an improvised explosive device in the area at around 9 pm (Thursday), causing injuries to at least seven soldiers. “We…

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61 Dead, scores injured as train mows into crowd watching Ravan burn in Amritsar

A passenger train that mowed down scores of people watching the Dussehra celebrations near Jaura Phatak (level crossing) was inaudible to the crowd as the firecrackers in the Ravana effigy were at a crescendo on Friday evening. “We didn’t hear the train coming. It had become dark and everyone was watching the effigy in flames when the train suddenly appeared,” said Mintoo, a migrant labourer staying in the vicinity. Most of the victims are migrant labourers. “Families have been wiped out,” he said. Wails and cries filled the air as…

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Kashmiri students returning home frightening of police profiling in Punjab

Kashmiri students studying at various colleges in Punjab have started returning home to the valley fearing harassment and arrest, alleging police were profiling them. The students and their parents said Punjab police have issued “forms” through college administrations to be filled in by the Kashmiri students. The forms entitled “Other students database” asks for details like full name, date of birth, gender, father’s name, address, contact, Aadhaar detail, date of admission and a photograph to be pasted on the supplied data sheet. Kashmiri students were also being asked to intimate…

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Resistance group urge world bodies to break silence on Kashmir Issue

Separatists leaders in Kashmir have urged world bodies to break their “silence”—condemning the civilian killings in Kashmir region. In this regard, peaceful protests after congregational Friday prayers were held in Srinagar. Earlier separatist leadership including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called people to register their protest “against civilian killings, and use of pellets and vandalizing properties in Jammu and Kashmir by government forces.” The spokesman in a statement issued here said that the killing spree at the hands of government forces, leadership and people…

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‘Shastra Poojan’ performed, rallies taken out by RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal activists on Vijaydashmi

In order to celebrate its 93rd foundation day on the occasion of Vijaydashmi on Thursday, activists of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vihswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal took out rallies and performed the “Shastra Poojan” (weapon worshipping) across the Jammu Region. During the day, the RSS activists performed Shastra Poojan (weapon worshipping) and marched through the main towns of RS Pura, Kathua, Vijaypur, Bari Brahamana, Udhampur, Ramban, Kishtwar and Bhaderwah in the “Ganvesh” (the complete RSS dress) and sang the “Sanchalan Geet” (RSS group song) invoking “Maa Bharti” (motherland).…

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Build Ram temple at the earliest: RSS Chief to Govt

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sang (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to consider introducing legislation for the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, cautioning that it was “in nobody’s interest to test the patience of the society without any reason.” Bhagwat’s comments drew flak from critics of the RSS who linked the timing to key state elections at the year-end leading up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The demand for the legislation, earlier made by RSS affiliate Vishwa Hindu…

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Extending 73rd, 74th constitutional amendments to J&K direct attack on Article 370: NC

Extending 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments to Jammu and Kashmir is a “direct attack” on Article 370, the National Conference said on Thursday, and slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party for advocating such “alterations.” Day after state BJP president Ravinder Raina pitched for extension of these amendments to Jammu and Kashmir—which would give greater financial and administrative powers to panchayats by putting in place a three-tier panchayat system—the NC’s general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said: “It is a calculated attempt to fiddle with the state’s special status. The amendments in J&K’s Panchayati…

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