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Punjab SP says his tip helped in prevention of major attack

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Gurdaspur: Punjab SP Salwinder Singh on Tuesday credited himself saying his timely information about the attack on the IAF base Pathankot prevented a major terror strike and made security agencies aware.

The SP had claimed he was abducted by five heavily armed men as he was returning after visiting a shrine on December 31 night. Senior police officers were allegedly wary of his claim on his abduction.

The SP said his sports utility vehicle was stopped and he and two others abducted around 11:30 PM on Thursday night (December 31). The attack at the Indian Air Force base took place around 3.30 AM on Saturday (January 2).

“My information was 1,000 percent true. There is no doubt about it. After I was dumped by my captors I freed myself and went to a nearby village Golpur Simbli. I told the villagers who I was. I then called up my superiors and gave them the information on my abduction.

“My information prevented a major (terror) incident. They could have done big damage had I not told about my abduction,” Salwinder told the media here.

Salwinder Singh, who is under transfer from the border district of Gurdaspur, said he had informed his senior officers about his abduction by suspected terrorists soon after he was dumped.

“As I told senior officers, they reached Pathankot. The police were alerted because of my information. I don’t know why the delay (in responding to the abduction incident) took place,” he said.

“Only I know what happened to me. I have got a new lease of life. The truth has come out. Only I and the God knows how I returned,” Salwinder said.

As for his alleged links with smugglers in the border belt, especially the odd time he was moving in the area, the SP said: “If anyone can prove my links with smugglers, I am willing to give up my life.”

The police officer said his abductors came back in his Mahindra XUV with a blue beacon, to look for him and his cook Madan Gopal after both were dumped near a drain in a forest area.

“I had gone to offer prayers at the shrine near Kathua. While returning, we were stopped near Kolia turn. We thought it was a police barricade. Four-five people barged into our vehicle and carjacked my SUV. They put off the lights. My friend Rajesh Verma was driving. We later came to know that they were terrorists,” Salwinder said.

“I could not resist as they were heavily armed. They threatened to shoot us. We were blindfolded, gagged and tied. We could not react. I did not take my gunmen since I was going to a shrine,” the police officer said.

“They had AK-47s (assault rifles) and carried heavy bags. They spoke in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi. They snatched my mobile phone and also took away Verma’s phone. They were talking to their commander,” he added.

Salwinder Singh said that when his gunman called on his mobile phone and asked for ‘SP saab’, they (terrorists) said ‘Salaam Vallekum’ and disconnected. They attacked Verma, slit his throat and left him for dead.

The police officer said they did not ask for directions as they had global positioning system and were talking about it.(IANS)

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Concerned Over The Rise of Drug Usage In The State: Himachal Governor

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair.

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There are countless mothers who have been constantly tormented by drug-dependent adolescent children. Pixabay

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday expressed concern over the rise in drug addiction, particularly among the youth in the state, and called for concerted efforts to tackle the menace.

“Effective steps have been taken by the government and police administration, but we all need to work together in this direction,” he said at the inauguration of the centuries-old Lavi Fair in Rampur town, which was once a centre of barter trade with Tibet.

He called upon the people to promote natural farming. The state government has made a provision of Rs 25 crore to promote natural or organic farming to produce chemical-free food.

The 400-year-old Lavi Fair has undergone a sea change with the rural folk’s changing lifestyles and aspirations, resulting in a greater sale of gadgets and automobiles than traditional items such as farm implements, livestock and dry fruits.

Himachal
‘The traders from across the border have stopped coming’ Pixabay

The fair dates back to the time when Raja Kehari Singh of Rampur Bushahr state signed a treaty to promote trade with Tibet.

Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan, Tibet and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

“People have stopped buying farm implements, horses and sheep. Now, they prefer to shop luxury goods like television sets and automobiles,” trader Ishwar Goyal told IANS.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will preside over the concluding session of the fair on November 14.

Another trader Deepak Negi said Rampur was a centre of trade before the 1962 India-China war.

The traders from Tibet used to bring raw wool, butter, herbs and leather products and bartered them for wheat, rice, farm implements and livestock.

himachal
Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan. Pixabay

“Now, the traders from across the border have stopped coming. Indian multinational companies come here to sell their products. The fair has largely lost its relevance,” he added.

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair. The main attraction during the exhibition were the Chamurthi horses – an endangered species known as the ‘Ship Of the Cold Desert’. Being a surefooted animal, it is mainly used for transporting goods in the Himalayas.

Also Read: Quitting Junk Food May Cause You to Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Similar to Drug Addition

The Chamurthi horse traces its origin to the Tibet region. In India, it’s bred in the villages of Himachal Pradesh bordering China.

The fair sees several folk artistes from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh perform. (IANS)