Lawyer Deepika Rajawat dropped by Kathua rape and murder victim’s family

The family of the eight-year-old Kathua rape and murder victim has decided to drop their lawyer Deepika Rajawat as she has “barely been available at the court hearings”, the victim’s father has said. Those close to the family said he has moved an application in the Pathankot court in Punjab, where the case was earlier shifted. It said that Rajawat shall not represent them and the power of attorney was being withdrawn. The father told reporters on Wednesday here that so far the case has been heard 100 times by…

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Nine phase panchayat elections from tomorrow, Little buzz across Valley, poll activity minimal

Against the backdrop of boycott call by separatists, terror threats and major logistical challenges in snowbound areas, J&K is set to go for the nine-phase panchayat poll from Saturday amid tight security arrangements. The panchayat elections are being held in J&K after a gap of seven years. The last elections were conducted in 2011 and the panchayats had completed their five-year term in 2016. “As many as 47 blocks — 26 in the Kashmir division and 21 in the Jammu division — mainly in snowbound parts of the state will…

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Blow for BJP as Ladakh MP Thupstan Chhewang quits party, Parliament

In a major setback to the BJP in the Ladakh region ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for next year, the party’s lone Lok Sabha member and its tallest leader Thupstan Chhewang on Thursday resigned from both the primary membership of the saffron party and as Member of Parliament. The BJP, however, claimed that he had resigned from active politics because he wanted to join spiritualism. In his resignation letter, widely circulated on the social media, addressed to state BJP president Ravinder Raina, Chhewang said he was resigning from the…

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Huge Gas, Oil reserves in state: Study by Italian firm

A comprehensive scientific paper has revealed a strong possibility of finding gas and petroleum in Jammu and Kashmir and has sought access to oil companies and researchers to carry out an exploration in the state. A decade-long study commissioned by Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (National Hydrocarbons Authority), an Italian oil giant, was completed recently to expand the understanding of hydrocarbon occurrences in the northwestern Himalayas of India and Pakistan. The published study, ‘Petroleum systems and hydrocarbon potential of the North-West Himalayas of India and Pakistan’, involved collaboration of researchers from India,…

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National Conference must explain its U-turn on Article 35A: Dr Jitendra Singh

Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh, on Thursday questioned the stand of National Conference with regard to participation in the Assembly elections. “National Conference (NC) owes an explanation to the people of Jammu & Kashmir for its U-turn on 35A. This party boycotted the recently held urban local body elections with the pledge that it will not participate in an election till the issue of 35A was settled, but now is demanding dissolution of State Assembly and is ready to contest the elections in a bid to seek ministerial berths, regardless…

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A Tale of ‘Cabbage’ and (W)Rath from Kashmir

Never has leafy green vegetable cabbage and its health benefits evoked so much interest in the Valley as it did recently. Immediate trigger for the “cabbage talk” is the much talked about transfer of Inspector General of Police, Traffic, Basant Rath. Rath would be credited for popularising cabbage in the Valley. Doctors are writing its health benefits and prodding the population, which is addicted to meat, to have  more of it. Others are making memes of cabbage and more adept internet users are making memes of new mayor of the…

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PEC expresses concern over Junaid Mattu’s ‘Insensitive Remarks’ about wetlands

Peoples’ Environmental Council (PEC), a Srinagar based environmental watchdog, has expressed serious concern over the “insensitive” remarks expressed by the newly elected mayor of Srinagar, Junaid Mattu, about wetlands and has reminded the government of the directions issued by the high court and the new set of rules notified by Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF) vis-à-vis protection of wetlands. In a statement issued on Wednesday PEC said that its members have taken strong note of the “insensitive remarks” made by the incumbent Mayor wherein he has…

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A Twitter fued, transfer earn unorthodox cop admirers

An online spat with a mayor followed by the transfer of Basant Rath, an unorthodox IPS officer who preferred to wear civilian clothes over khaki and walked into crowds with ease, has created a storm on internet with local social media users throwing their support for him. Basant Rath, a 2000-batch IPS officer, who served as the Inspector General of Police, Traffic, had become a social media celebrity in the Valley where a lot of people had developed a liking for his unorthodox style of working. While Rath had a…

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Governor rule to continue: Ram Madhav

Contrary to the claims of local leaders, Ram Madhav, national general secretary of the BJP, has said that the party is in favour of continuing Governor’s rule in J&K. He said it would continue till mid-December. Addressing a function to felicitate the newly elected municipal committee members and heads of the civic bodies at Kathua on Tuesday, Madhav said, “We are happy with the Governor’s rule and that is why the BJP has decided to continue with it for some time.” Under the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, there is…

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Clear stand on poll participation, Ram Madhav questions NC and PDP

Accusing the NC and the PDP of trying to scuttle the democratic process, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav has asked them to clear stand on whether they would participate in state assembly elections or boycott them, like they did during the local bodies polls. Asked about any proposal to dissolve the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, Madhav said the Governor’s rule will continue till the middle of December and what happens next will be discussed then. “We are happy with it and that is why BJP has decided to continue the…

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