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Major reshuffle in JK police
Mir Umar
Agence India Press, Correspondent
July 14, 2009
Srinagar


Amid the growing unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, the state government Tuesday ordered a major shake-up in the police department transferring many senior officers. The reshuffle in the state police was ordered in the cabinet meeting headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
The shake-up comes as protests have been raging this summer in the Kashmir Valley over alleged rights abuses and killings by security forces.
Ashok Bhan, who was the director general Criminal Investigation Department (CID), has been posted as director general prisons.
K. Rajendra, inspector general of police (Jammu zone), has been promoted as additional director general and posted as the new CID chief of the state. Ashok Gupta would be the new inspector general of police Jammu.
P.L. Gupta, inspector general of police (headquarters), will be now additional director general of the vigilance commission.
Farooq Ahmad, inspector general of police (CID), has been transferred and posted as inspector general of police (Kashmir zone) replacing B. Srinivas who goes as inspector general of police (security).
The government has also changed deputy inspectors general (DIGs) of Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag and Kathua ranges replacing them with new faces.
Transfers have also been made at the levels of the senior superintendents of police (SSPs) at the district levels including SSP (Srinagar) Afadul Mujtaba who has been replaced by Riyaz Ahmad Bedar.
This is the first major shake-up in the state police administration after Omar Abdullah took office as the chief minister of the state earlier this year.
Though terrorist violence in Kashmir has drastically come down the valley has been rocked by protests since May over alleged human rights violations by security forces.
First it was in south Kashmir's Shopian where two women, aged 17 and 22, were found dead May 30. Locals allege they were abducted, raped and killed by security forces. A government appointed probe commission has indicted some police officers for the crime.
After the Shopian incident that sparked valley-wide protests came the violence in north Kashmir Baramulla where a woman last month alleged she was abused by cops in a police station. Police have, however, denied the allegations.
Four protesters were killed in firing allegedly by paramilitary men in Baramulla and neighbouring Sopore town. Police have registered murder cases against paramilitary troopers reportedly involved in the firing.
Then violent protests rocked this Jammu and Kashmir summer capital early this month after a missing youth was found murdered in an old city area triggering a fresh wave of violence in an already vitiated atmosphere. People blamed police and other security agencies for his "custodial death".
Normal Life returns in Kashmir
Sheikh Imran Bashir
Agence India Press, Correspondent
July 14, 2009
Srinagar


Life today returned to normal in the summer capital, Srinagar, its outskirts and other parts of the Kashmir valley after a day-long undeclared curfew restrictions and general strike yesterday.
Shops and business establishments reopened this morning and traffic on all routes was plying normally.
Work in government offices, banks and other commercial establishments was going on smoothly and the educational institutions also registered full attendance.
The authorities had imposed undeclared curfew restrictions in the city and its outskirts yesterday following a '' Lal Chowk Chalo'' call given by the moderate Hurriyat Conference (HC).
In other parts of the valley, general strike was observed on the 78th anniversary of 1931 martyrs.
Reports from Anantnag and Baramulla said life was normal in all parts of the south and north Kashmir districts and towns with shops and business establishments doing normal business and traffic plying on all routes.
One killed, ten injured
Sadat Khan
Agence India Press, Correspondent
July 14, 2009
Srinagar

A girl was killed and ten others were injured while three houses were gutted in the Kashmir valley overnight, official sources said here today.They said a vehicle hit and injured a girl Sania at Tangdhar in north Kashmir. She was immediately admitted to hospital where she died.
Four people were injured when a vehicle, in which they were travelling, met with an accident at Repora bypass while a vehicle hit and injured a woman and a teenage girl at Damhal Hanjipora in Kulgam district.
They said four people were injured in two different motorycle accidents at Bandipora and Kunzer.
All the injured were admitted to different hospitals, they said.
Three houses and four shops were gutted in a devastaing fire at Damhal Hanjipora in Kulgam district of south Kashmir.
The cause of fire was not known; they said adding no one was injured.
Soldier kills colleague and shoots self in Kashmir
Majid Kapra
Agence India Press, Correspondent
July 14, 2009
Srinagar

A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldier killed his colleague before attempting suicide in Kashmir valley, official sources said.
Manooj Phukan shot dead another soldier Manjeet Singh of 84 batalion CRPF in a camp here late last night.
The two had an exchange of hot words before the firing took place, which caused panic in the camp as other security personnel mistook it as a fidayeen attack.
They said Singh later shot himself with his service weapon.
However, he was immediately taken to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) at Soura, where his condition is stated to be critical.
The cause of their quarrel was not known, they said, adding the police have registered a case and initiated proceedings.
The trend of killing of colleagues and committing suicide among the security forces has not ended in Kashmir even after the authorities introduced Yoga and Art of Living to help them come out of stress.
Hizbul militant shot dead in JK
Agence India Press Bureau
July 14, 2009
Jammu


A Hizbul Mujahideen militant was shot dead in an encounter with security forces in Reasi district Tuesday morning.
On a tip off, Rashtriya Rifles troops launched an operation in Mahore area in the wee hours and in the subsequent encounter shot dead the militant identified as Bashir Ahmed Sheikh alias Jan Baaz alias Ghulam Ullah, defence sources said.
The militant, who had received arms training in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, was active in the area since 1988, they said.
An AK 56 rifle, 80 AK rounds and three AK magazines were recovered from him.
No helicopter service to Holy Cave from July 22
SASB relocates the Amarnath helipad to Panchtarni
Agence India Press Bureau
July 14, 2009
Srinagar


In furtherance of the decision taken by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), Governor, N. N. Vohra, today approved the relocation of helipad from the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji to Panchtarni, the forward Base Camp on the traditional Pahalgam route.
B. B. Vyas, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Shrine Board, stated that the helicopter service shall now operate on the Baltal-Panchtarni sector with effect from July 22, 2009, and emphasized that there shall be no service to the Holy Cave for the remainder period of the current year’s Yatra.
Henceforth, Vyas stated, the existing helipads near the Holy Cave shall be used only in exigencies such as evacuation of ailing pilgrims and rescue, as and when required, as well as for any other emergent and extra-ordinary landing, in rare cases, with the approval of the Governor, who is Chairman of the Board.
In a significant decision taken at the 16th Board Meeting, the SASB had decided to relocate the helipads from the Holy Cave in order to maintain the spiritual ambience of the Cave periphery and to meet the Yatris’ perception that the helicopter movement, close to the Cave, impacted on the longevity of the Holy Ice Lingam. Also, environmentalists had averred that the exhaust fumes, vibrations and sound waves arising from the helicopter operations could adversely impact on the fragile ecology of this snow covered mountain ranges.
The Board had desired to shift the helicopter operations from the Holy Cave to Panchtarni as early as possible during the on-going Amarnath Yatra-2009. However, the helicopter service operators felt that as a good number of the pilgrims who had made advance bookings were of advanced ages and, as such, adequate time would be required to inform all such persons about the relocation of the helipad from the Holy Cave to Panchtarni. Keeping the aforesaid concern in view, the Board has informed both the helicopter service providers, M/S Himalayan Heli Services (Pvt.) Ltd. and M/S Deccan Charters Ltd. that from Wednesday, 22nd July, 2009, all services will operate between Baltal and Panchtarni. Thus, there shall be no service to the Holy Cave after the last flight on Tuesday the 21st July, 2009.
The Board has further asked the helicopter operators to ensure that in the remaining seven days i.e. from 14th to 21st July, the required action is taken to suitably advise and inform all those who have made advance booking for any date after 21st July, 2009, about the change in the location of the helipad from the Holy Cave to Panchtarni and consequential changes in the schedule of helicopter operations. The Board has also observed that, considering the increased turn around time as a result of the change in the landing site/helipad, the helicopter service providers will provide adequate choice and flexibility to the aforesaid passengers to either change the date of their travel or cancel their earlier bookings, against full reimbursement of the fare, as the case may be.
Meanwhile, the Shrine Board has also decided that, for the Yatra 2010 and onwards the helicopter services shall only be to and from Panchtarni. As such, all the intending helicopter service providers will be advised to bid accordingly, as soon as the tendering process is initiated by the Shrine Board, for this purpose.
Vyas observed that Panchtarni has adequate space for landing several helicopters at a time and, in the past years; bigger machines like MI-17 have also operated from this area. It was further stated that “the SASB is also contemplating to allow a helicopter service on Pahalgam-Panchtarni sector, keeping in view the demands received from Yatris and the tour and travel operators of Pahalgam”. Such a service will enable the pilgrims who are unable to walk on this arduous track to fly over the traditional route and have darshan of Sheshnag and Mahagunas Top.
The Board’s Spokesman stated that the decision with regard to the relocation of the helipad from the Holy Cave was taken after B. B. Vyas, Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, held a series of meetings with the service providers. Referring to the recent unfortunate accident in the Holy Cave Lower Camp area, the Spokesman stressed the importance of having an adequate number of helipads in the Yatra area for evacuating those injured in accidents, those who take seriously ill etc and for launching rescue operations in exigencies, keeping in view the difficult terrain and fast changing weather conditions in the high altitude Himalayan region. It was noted that the Board had organized seven rescue operations from Sheshnag, Panchtarni, Holy Cave and Brarimarg and saved several precious lives during the ongoing Yatra.
Meanwhile, 9845 Yatris performed darshan at the Holy Cave Shrine of Amarnath on Monday. While around 1400 pilgrims left from the Baltal Base Camp and 3600 from the Nunwan Base Camp this morning on their journey to the Holy Cave Shrine, another batch of 1699 Yatris left from Jammu to the Pahalgam and Baltal Base Camps today.
J&K Bank Q1 net profit Rs 117 crores
Operating Profit up 42 % to Rs 256 crore
Agence India Press Bureau
July 14, 2009
Srinagar


While registering a business turnover of Rs 51,975.56 crore during the quarter ended June, 2009, the J&K Bank recorded an increase of 41 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous year in the operating profit which increased to Rs.256 crore. For the said quarter, the Bank recorded a net profit of Rs 117.05 crore, an increase of 24 % over Rs 94.56 pertaining to the corresponding period of the previous year.
The bank announced the un-audited financial results for the quarter ended June 2009, following the approval of its Board of Directors in a meeting held here today.
“The financial results of Q1 speak our performance despite adverse market conditions prevailing in the J&K state. In fact, the growing profits vet our renewed strategy where we have focussed on J&K state and our investment strategy in a declining interest rate scenario,” said Drabu while commenting on the performance of the bank. He further stated that the bank has leveraged technology to maximize efficiency in the system and also to bring down the operating expenses.
The Gross NPAs and the Net NPAs as proportion of Gross and Net Customer Assets for the quarter ended June, 2009 were at 2.44 % and 0.77 % respectively. The NPA Coverage Ratio, which is an indicator of safety and shows the level of provision a bank has for its bad assets, has gone up to 68.79 % from 59.53 % a year ago. It is now amongst the highest in the industry. As a result of efficient leveraging of its assets, the Bank has been able to bring down its Cost to Income ratio to 32.79 % from 37.66 % a year ago. The Return on Assets has improved to 1.29 % (annualized) compared to 1.16 % a year ago.
Dr. Drabu cited productization of financial services, where the bank has tailored a wide range of products to suit various sectors of economy, be it agriculture, horticulture, artisan or industries sector, as a major contributing factor for the healthy performance of the Bank. “This initiative has resulted in tapping the unexplored areas of our economy and enhanced our outreach to unbanked areas in the state”, he emphasized.
“Due to improvement in yield on advances from 10.37 % in Q1 FY 2008-09 to 11.55 % for the current quarter, the interest income on advances went up by 19 % on a Y on Y basis. Despite increase in Interest expenses by 20 % Y on Y, attributed to rising cost of deposits, bank has been able to maintain its margins at 3.10 % due to a concurrent increase in the lending rates, “said Dr. Drabu.

Operating Income (Net Interest Income plus Other Income) stood at Rs. 381.67 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 as against Rs. 291.13 crore for the corresponding quarter of last fiscal registering an increase of 31 %. The Other Income of the Bank has gone up by 78 % to Rs. 115.68 crore from Rs 64.88 crore a year ago, largely on account of trading income.
The Bank has restructured loans during the quarter to the extent of around Rs 100 crore mostly by way of realignment of interest rates.
The Capital Adequacy Ratio under the Basel I norms stands at 14.33 % at the end of June 30, 2009 and Tier I capital amounted to 13.63 %. Net Worth of the Bank stood at Rs. 2739.91 crore as on June 30, 2009 compared to Rs. 2403.49 crore a year earlier, registering a growth of 14 %.
Gul appointed Advisor to CM
Agence India Press Bureau
July 14, 2009
Srinagar



State Chief Omar Abdullah today appointed legislator and senior National Conference leader Mubarak Gul as his Advisor with the status of Cabinet rank.
The Chief Minister himself accompanied Gul to his office in the Civil Secretariat and remained with him for a while. The Chief Minister’s Secretariat will be the feeding department for Mubarak Gul.
Gul, soon after taking over charge, received large number of individuals and deputations. He gave a patient hearing to the pleas presented to him and issued instructions on the applications for redressal of genuine grievances of the public.
Kargil tourism festival concludes
Agence India Press Bureau
July 14, 2009
Kargil


The two days Kargil Tourism Festival concluded here at Khree Sultan Choo Sport Stadium Kargil yesterday. Executive Councilor, Tourism, Punchok Tashi was the chief guest on the occasion.
In his address, Tashi lauded the efforts of tourism department for successful conduct of such event to promote tourism and to preserve age old tradition of the area. He said that all efforts are being made by the Hill Development Council, Kargil to promote tourism sectors and to revive the ancient tradition of the district to attract foreign and domestic tourists to Kargil. He further said that Kargil district has a rich potential of multi tradition and culture of different tribes like Shina, Dard, Purki, Balti, Ladakhi and Kashmiri etc. He said by tapping and exploring these unique traditions we can boost and flourish our tourism industry in the region for socio economical development of the people.
On the occasion, colorful traditional cultural programmes were also presented by the artists of various ethnic groups which include Dard, Shina, Balti, Purik tribes. For the first time artists from outside the state also participated in the festival and performed Punjabi Bangra, Assami Bangoo dance, Minipuri marshal arts and Khokhori dance which mesmerized the audience.
Later, the Executive Councilor distributed prizes among the participants.
The festival was inaugurated on July 12, by chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Kargil, Kachu Ahmad Ali Khan.
Pak Army building new bunkers along border: BSF
Ashish Mehra
Agence India Press, Correspondent
July 14, 2009
New Delhi


The Border Security Force (BSF) on Tuesday raised alarm at the Pakistan Army’s move to build more bunkers along the border with India.
A top BSF official said that the Pakistani Army had stepped up building bunkers along the border in the recent past, especially after last November’s Mumbai terror attacks.
According to Special DG BSF UK Bansal, apart from the concrete bunkers Pakistan was also constructing observation towers.
He, however, added that there was no cause of concern and that India was taking measures to neutralise Pakistan’s actions.
The latest news clearly points to a new aggressive line being adopted by Pakistan along its border with India, especially in view of its continued reluctance to act against the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks.
The revelation comes at a time when the infiltration activity along the border is at its peak due to favourable weather conditions prevalent in summer.
The disclosure further assumes significance in the wake of reports that Jammu and Kashmir’s major power project Baglihar Dam is on the radar of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, as was claimed by the two alleged LeT militants who were recently caught from the forests of Shamsabari near the Line of Control in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
'Swine flu vaccination compulsory for Haj pilgrims'
Manoj Khar
Agence India Press, Correspondent
July 14, 2009
New Delhi


Haj pilgrims from India this year will have to compulsorily get themselves vaccinated against swine flu to avoid getting quarantined in Saudi Arabia, as per the latest requirements of the government there.
This was announced Tuesday by Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor who also advised that elderly, pregnant women and children should avoid making the pilgrimage this year due to the pandemic.
"The Hajis should take suitable precautions and get themselves inoculated as they will be medically screened at the point of disembarkation. This is an advise for the pilgrims to avoid getting quarantined at the point of disembarkation," he said at the Annual Haj Conference here.
Seasonal flu vaccination has been made compulsory and it is to be ensured that pilgrims from all over the world must take the vaccine at least two weeks before travel, the Saudi government has advised. It also said that health certificates would have to be signed by government doctors.
Tharoor said the Saudi government has intimated that the pilgrims should have international passports only, instead of any other travel document.
Google Hyderabad office shuts for 2 days over Swine flu scare
Naveed Bazaz
Agence India Press, Correspondent
July 14, 2009
Hyderabad


The swine flu scare forced IT Major Google Tuesday to shut down its Hyderabad office for two days as a precautionary measure.
A company spokesman confirmed that Google has announced two-day holiday for all its employees at the office here to enable them undergo screening for Influenza A(N1H1).
Over 1,000 employees of the firm were told to contact the Andhra Pradesh Chest Hospital after one employee was tested positive for the swine flu.
He was among the six employees of three IT companies who contracted the virus from a software engineer, who returned to the city from Houston July 5, according to health authorities.
The 29-year-old techie, who approached the Chest Hospital July 11 after he developed swine flu symptoms, spread the infection to employees of the IT companies with whom he worked.
The techie and six others were tested positive Monday, spreading the swine flu scare in IT companies in Madhapur here. Employees of one company have already started taking medicines as a precautionary measure.
Health authorities said the swine flu symptoms in the techie could not be detected despite compulsory screening of all air passengers at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here. This was the first cluster formation in the city.
With eight new cases including a two-and-half-year-old boy who arrived here from Dubai, the swine flu cases in the city has gone up to 31.
Sensex up 453 pts, closes at 13,854
Dheeraj Paul
Agence India Press, Correspondent
July 14, 2009
Mumbai


The benchmark Sensex zoomed by over 453 points on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday on reports of early signs of economic recovery amid upbeat data from neighbouring countries.
The Sensex, which lost nearly 10 percent in the last few trading sessions, bounced back to record a hefty gain of 453.38 points at 13,853.70, after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that the economy was showing early signs of recovery and the government had to increase borrowing to invest more, in the absence of private investment.
The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty surged by 137.35 points at 4,111.40, after touching the day's high of 4,128.90. The market also received a booster following upbeat economic data from Singapore and Australia and a surge in investor confidence data in Germany. A better opening at European stock markets and an overnight surge on the Wall Street were other supporting factors.
The realty sector index gained the most, 9.38 percent, to 2,995.16.
The metal sector index was the second-best performer, gaining 5.53 percent to 10,273.75, as market participants felt the improvement in economic conditions would raise demand for base metals.
206 sugar mills sick, 153 went under this season: Govt
Manoj Khar
Agence India Press, Correspondent
July 14, 2009
New Delhi


The government on Tuesday said as many as 206 sugar mills across the country are sick, with two major producing states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh accounting for over half of them.
Co-operative sector, Minister of State for Agriculture K V Thomas said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
While 63 mills in Maharashtra have been declared sick, 44 in Uttar Pradesh share the same fate, Thomas said. Tamil Nadu accounts for the closure of around 23 mills while Karnataka follows closely with 22.
"The main reasons for the closure/sickness of these mills are non-availability of adequate raw material, poor recovery from sugarcane, uneconomic size, lack of modernisation, high cost of working capital, declaration of high state advisory price of cane by some states (among others)," Thomas said.
Moreover, 153 sugar mills across states stopped functioning till March 31 of this season, ending September, the minister pointed out, adding that some of these units may start operation in the next season.
As many as 49 mills in Maharashtra and 27 in Uttar Pradesh stopped working during this period.
The closure of mills is again bad news on the sugar front as the output of the sweetener is projected to slump by over a million tonnes to 15.5 million tonnes in the 2008-09 season against the domestic demand of 22.5 million tonnes.


Added: Jul-14-2009 Occurred On: Jul-14-2009
By: aipworld
In:
Middle East
Tags: Agence, India, Press
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