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Protesters coming to rescue of militants is becoming a dangerous trend in Kashmir

Kashmir Valley is facing a serious challenge in their anti-terror operations with a new trend of stone-throwing protesters coming out to rescue militants from shootout sites.

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Kashmir
Protesters vs Security forces, (representational Image) Wikimedia

-By Rohit Srivastava

New Delhi, Feb 17, 2017: Security forces in the Kashmir Valley are facing a serious challenge in their anti-terror operations with a new trend, which has almost become a phenomenon now, of stone-throwing protesters coming out to rescue militants from shootout sites.

Military officials and security experts admit it is a dangerous trend with Army Chief General Bipin Rawat even warning locals against supporting militants.

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Earlier, Kashmir police had issued advisories, asking people not to come close to shootout sites between militants and security forces. The district administration prohibits the gathering of four or more persons around the areas where gun battles are on.

Despite that people came out throwing stones at security forces during at least three gun battles in the valley.

The trend began in South Kashmir last year when dozens of people came shouting slogans and throwing stones at security forces in a village near Pampore town. The trend has now spread to other parts of the valley.

On Sunday morning, stone-pelting protesters came close to a gunfight site to help militants escape when security forces were fighting them in South Kashmir’s Kulgam.

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Two days later, when forces cordoned off a village in North Kashmir, a mob marched towards the militant hideout throwing stones at police and the army.

A similar incident was reported in North Kashmir’s Handwara where people took to streets to help militants escape.

Army officials told IANS that these were diversionary tactics by overground workers to help the besieged militants get out, giving a nightmare to security forces in their efforts to minimize collateral damage in their nearly three-decade of unending counter-insurgency operations in the valley.

The officials, however, clarified that the army chief’s warning wasn’t directed generally at the people of the Kashmir but definitely against those who were supporting militant activities and trying to protect terrorists.

“We are with the citizens of the valley and the chief’s statement was for the people who support terrorist. The army’s role is only to create a situation for a civilian government to function,” a senior army official told IANS, requesting anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

A former commander of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt. Gen. Ata Hasnain told IANS that the army’s “inability to engage with youth (in the valley) beyond the peripheral contacts makes it the key problem”.

“The absence of grassroot political activity is the other. The last is the nuanced information operations launched by Pakistan and the separatists using social media and networks besides the local mosques,” said Hasnain, who has served as the top army commander in Kashmir heading the corps that is the nerve center of all counter-terror operations in the valley.

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Brig (retd) Gurmeet Kanwal shared the view. “As a nation, we have failed to integrate Jammu and Kashmir with the national mainstream even after 70 years of independence. Deep sense of alienation exists in the valley.”

Speaking on the army chief’s statement on engaging the overground workers who obstruct army’s operations against militants, Kanwal said: “The army will only target who are interfering in the operations and firing at the army. They will use utmost restraint.” (IANS)

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Srinagar: Restrictions on Muharram Processions to Avoid Separatist Violence

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Restrictions imposed in Srinagar ahead of Muharram protests.
Restrictions imposed in Srinagar ahead of Muharram protests. ians

Srinagar, Sep 29: Authorities imposed restrictions on Muharram processions in parts of Srinagar on Friday, to prevent any violence in the valley. Starting from the Guru Bazar locality, the Shia procession would end at the Dalgate area.

After separatist violence started in Kashmir, authorities have not allowed the procession since 1990.

Police and paramilitary, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in full riot gear were deployed in the suspected areas to put restrictions on Muharram processions.The pedestrian and vehicular movement was also suspended.

Life in other areas of Srinagar and elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley, however, remained normal. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Melbourne Sikhs join protests in Australia against Rohingya Muslims massacre

The Melbourne Sikh Community protested against ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims by security forces of Myanmar

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A group of Rohingyas
A group of Rohingya Refugees. voa
  • The Melbourne Sikh Community and the local Rohingya community got together and requested the Australian government to pressurize Myanmar government to stop Rohingya Muslims massacre
  • Sikh participants said that they will join another protest to support the Rohingya Muslims
  • Australian government should intercede in Myanmar’s unfortunate situation-Rohingya Muslims are being forced to flee

Jalandhar, Punjab, September 8, 2017: The Melbourne Sikh Community joined the Muslim protesters- the local Rohingya community on 7th September against Rohingya Genocide by the security forces of Myanmar. Both communities got together and requested the Australian government to pressurize the government of Myanmar to stop the tragic massacre of Rohingya Muslims.

The Sikh participants said that they will join another protest to support the Rohingya Muslims which would happen on 9th September, the scheduled place for which is the front of Melbourne’s state library. They were joined by other protesters when they handed over a memorandum to the Australian Foreign Affairs ministry office.

Manveer Singh Khalsa addressed the gathering, he said that the Australian government should definitely intercede in Myanmar’s unfortunate situation where the Rohingya Muslims are being forced to flee.

Also Read: Stop Lecturing And Demonizing India over its Plan to Deport 40,000 Stateless Rohingya Muslims: Minister

Ravi Inder Singh is the member of the Miri Piri Gurdwara managing committee in Australia, he said that the community members would also join Rohingya Muslims in protests happening in future. According to Times of India report, Singh said: “We condemn discrimination against any community and will continue raising voice against ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya community by security forces of Myanmar.”


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