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Unarmed civilians nab militant in Jammu

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Vigil (left) with members of his team and members of the Northern Alliance west of Konduz Afghanistan in late 2001.

Jammu: In a dramatic turn of events on Wednesday, unarmed villagers in Jammu and Kashmir overpowered a young Pakistani terrorist who took them hostage shortly after he and another militant ambushed a BSF convoy and killed two troopers on the Jammu-Srinagar highway.

picture from- www.oneindia.com
picture from- www.oneindia.com

Eleven Border Security Force personnel were also injured in the morning attack on a stretch of the highway in Udhampur district that has been free of terrorist violence for 15 long years. Once the BSF shot dead one of the two attackers, the second one fled, with his weapon.

Identified later as Usman alias Qasim Khan, the 20-something from Faislabad in Pakistan quickly sprinted to the small Chirdi village some 15 km away and took shelter in a house after flashing his AK-47 rifle.

The rattled residents first fed him food when he said he was hungry. Later, when he sought help to escape from the village, the three men in the house pounced on him, grappled with him and overpowered him just as security forces threw a ring around the village.

“After we disarmed him, the militant begged us to let him go,” said one of the villagers who took hold of his AK-47.

He also pleaded: “Mujhe mat pakdo, mujhe mat pakdo.” (Don’t catch me.)

In no time, the frightened Pakistani, who was wearing a black shirt and trousers, was handed over to the security forces who led him away down the mountain path after securing him with a rope.

It was the first time that Indian security forces captured a Pakistani terrorist — after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Police officials said he was linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, which also carried out the deadly Mumbai attack that left 166 Indians and foreigners dead.

According to informed sources, the Pakistani terrorist confessed that their ultimate mission was to target the ongoing Amarnath Yatra. He added that 16 Pakistani terrorist modules were active in Jammu and Kashmir.

In New Delhi, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the incident. Amid indications that the Pakistani might be flown to New Delhi on Thursday, the home ministry said the ambush and capture would be probed by the National Investigation Agency.

It all began when two militants ambushed a BSF vehicle on its way to the Kashmir Valley, killing two troopers and injuring 11, at Narsu Nallah, 65 km from Jammu.

The BSF vehicle was peppered with bullets but the troopers fought back, one officer said.

After one of the attackers got killed, Usman ran all the way to Chirdi village in the hills and took three simple villagers hostage — a decision that was to seal his fate.

Officials initially gave no credit to the villagers who caught the terrorists. But the villagers gave their version of the story to reporters who thronged the village.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said the credit for catching the Pakistani should go to Chirdi villagers.

“Very brave of the unarmed civilians to wrestle and disarm an armed terrorist. They should be suitably rewarded for this bravery,” Omar said.
“Very unfortunate that the credit is not going where it is due.”

Some Indian experts felt that Wednesday’s attack was aimed at spiking the proposed talks between the National Security Advisers of Pakistan and India.

Wednesday’s attack took place on the 300-km Jammu-Srinagar highway that links Jammu region with the Kashmir Valley and is a lifeline for Srinagar.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said the attack was “extremely worrying” because it followed the July 27 terrorist attack in Gurdaspur district in Punjab that left seven people dead.

Gurdaspur borders Pakistan, and those attackers too were believed to be Pakistanis.

(IANS)

 

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Major Initiative to Bring Good Governance Practices in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh

The first conference will see the participation of 200 officials from J&K and over 90 officials from other states

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Initiative, Governance Practices, Jammu
Both the conferences are being organised at the behest of Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, who is keen to quicken the pace of development in the region after it was carved into two UTs on October 31. Pixabay

In its first major initiative after the creation of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the government is holding two back-to-back regional conferences in Jammu that will see officials and delegates from 19 other states and the two UTs participating to highlight models of good governance practices.

A two-day conference on ‘Replication of Good Governance Practices in UTs of J&K and Ladakh’ will be held in Jammu on November 15 and 16, while another conference on ‘Jal Shakti and Disaster Management’ under the ‘Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat’ programme will be held on November 30 and December 1.

The second conference will see Tamil Nadu as the sister state of Jammu and Kashmir UT, with both sides discussing their rivers, Cauvery and Jhelum, and how to rejuvenate the water bodies.

Both the conferences are being organised at the behest of Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, who is keen to quicken the pace of development in the region after it was carved into two UTs on October 31.

Initiative, Governance Practices, Jammu
A two-day conference on ‘Replication of Good Governance Practices in UTs of J&K and Ladakh’ will be held in Jammu on November 15 and 16, while another conference on ‘Jal Shakti and Disaster Management’. Pixabay

The first conference will see the participation of 200 officials from J&K and over 90 officials from other states. The second will have 350 participants, including officials from districts, collectors, members of the civil society, officials from the food and civil supplies departments and some members of flood-affected families.

The first conference on Good Governance Practices will have sessions on public policy and governance, capacity building and personnel administration. Participants will make presentations on digital governance, citizen centric governance, aspirational districts and PM awards initiatives.

Besides Jitendra Singh, others attending the conferences will include the new Lt Governor of Ladakh R.K. Mathur, the new Lt Governor of J&K G.C. Murmu and top officials in the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, and in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Other initiatives such as Government e-Marketplace (GeM), Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG), e-Vidhaan and e-Office will also be discussed.

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States like Bihar and Gujarat will share their experiences of grievance redressal along with J&K.

The second conference on ‘Jal Shakti and Disaster Management’ will see sessions on the following themes — rejuvenation of rivers, Cauvery and Jhelum, reducing water consumption in agriculture, water warriors for water conservation, and management of floods.

Both sides will also discuss the 2014 floods in Srinagar and the rescue operation carried out by the National Disaster Response Force, and the 2015 Chennai floods, as well as emergency responses, forecasting and early warning.

Some noted conservation experts are being invited to the conference such as Anil Prakash Joshi, founder of the Dehradun-based Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization, Sekhar Raghavan, Director, Rain Centre, Chennai, and Sonam Wangchuk, founding-director of the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh.

Initiative, Governance Practices, Jammu
The second conference will see Tamil Nadu as the sister state of Jammu and Kashmir UT, with both sides discussing their rivers, Cauvery and Jhelum, and how to rejuvenate the water bodies. Pixabay

Jitendra Singh said that the Central government aims to bring development and replicate good governance practices in the newly created UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

J&K would make presentations on its excellence projects like Back to Village programme, panchayat polls, electrification of households, and girl child education.

Young district collectors from other states would make presentations on model case studies, or where they have done well in the Mission Indradhanush immunisation programme, or the National Rural Livelihood Mission, a poverty alleviation project, or in the Aspirational Districts programme.

“The two conferences are being convened to create a roadmap and environment for good governance, which would represent the first important events of the Government of India in these UTs.

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“The objective is for highest focus on public policy and governance with special emphasis on digital governance, citizen centric governance, innovation and capacity building,” V. Srinivas, IAS, Additional Secretary in the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, told IANS.

“We hope these two conferences would enable a series of sustained efforts to create a transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly effective administration in the UTs of J&K and Ladakh. Following the conference, a Jammu Sankalp would be adopted, which would enable the creation of several models of excellence in citizen centric governance,” Srinivas added.

On August 5, the Central government abrogated the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir and carved it into two UTs, saying that the move would help bring the benefits of good governance that the rest of India enjoyed to the region.

The special status had prevented several citizen-centric Central laws from taking effect in J&K. (IANS)