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Monday, 22 February 2016

From Today's Papers - 22 Feb 2016





















http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/2-captains-lance-naik-killed-in-srinagar-encounter/199531.html
2 Captains, Lance Naik killed in Srinagar encounter
Azhar Qadri

Tribune News Service

Sempora (Kashmir), February 21
Two officers and a soldier of the Army’s Special Forces Parachute Regiment were killed in an encounter with militants who had taken refuge inside a five-storeyed concrete building after ambushing a paramilitary convoy on the outskirts of the city yesterday.

The officers, Captain Pawan Kumar of Jind (Haryana) and Captain Tushar Mahajan of Udhampur (J&K) and Lance Naik Om Prakash of Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) were killed during separate assaults to neutralise the militants who had taken vantage positions inside the building that houses the headquarters of Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI). The casualties on Sunday have taken the toll in the ongoing gunfight here to six, which includes two paramilitary personnel and a civilian who had died yesterday.

Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar told The Tribune that at least two to three militants were believed to be inside the building. “It is a huge building and it will take time to clear every room and every floor,” the DGP said.

The encounter raged throughout the day even as the Army made several attempts to storm the building. The militants took control of the building after ambushing the convoy of CRPF vehicles on the highway connecting Srinagar and Jammu.  The attack is one of the major offensives launched by militants in recent years. The affiliation of the militants still remains unclear.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/pathankot-visit-of-pak-sit-okayed/199509.html
Pathankot visit of Pak SIT ‘okayed’
Islamabad, February 21
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said here today that Islamabad had received the nod from the Indian authorities regarding its special investigation team’s visit to India in connection with the Pathankot attack.

“The first step is that we take the record of these (phone) numbers from service providers. This information should be handed over to the investigation team. Secondly, the few names that have been informally given to us from the other side, what is the connection between these names and the phone numbers? This will be examined,” he said.

“There are some missing links. Our SIT will go to India, along with all such information. Another thing that I want to clarify is that : A letter was written to India by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stating that our SIT would like to visit India, especially Pathankot, in order to complete its investigation. In a reply to our letter, they have agreed to this, but have also said that they should be informed five days ahead of our team’s planned visit,” he said. — ANI


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/jammu-kashmir/lengthy-siege-and-fidayeen-like-tactic/199262.html
Lengthy siege and fidayeen-like tactic
Militants taking refuge in a building had a chance to escape, but they chose to take on security forces
Azhar Qadri

Tribune News Service

Sempora (Kashmir), Feb 21
In the early hours of Sunday morning, a rattle of gunfire punctured a lengthy pause of silence at Sempora on the outskirts of Srinagar city.

The shots fired by militants holed up in a building were distinct — they were single shots and made a sharp sound. The police and Army commandos fired a barrage of bullets amid thuds of grenade blasts.

It is 7:15 am. The gunfight that began on Saturday afternoon has entered the second day. The death toll in the morning included two CRPF constables who were killed in the initial ambush, a young officer of the Army’s Special Forces who was killed during the overnight assault to neutralise the militants _and a civilian who died in the initial gunfight.

The busy and bustling National Highway 1A, connecting Srinagar with Jammu, has become lifeless at Sempora in Pulwama district. The militants —believed to be at least three in number — have multiple advantages: the evacuation of civilians from the five-storeyed Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) gave them enough time to fortify their positions in the concrete building, and they remain at a vantage from the upper floors. To minimise the damage to the building, which houses a nursery for aspiring entrepreneurs, the Army commandos plan to go in for a risky room-to-room intervention which is fraught with the danger of suffering casualties.

The militants, however, repelled multiple assaults to neutralise them. “They have not let anyone come close to the building and are firing at everything that moves close to it,” said a policeman guarding a perimeter, nearly 100 metres from the site of gunbattle.

The lengthy siege to the sprawling EDI building began on Saturday afternoon when militants ambushed a CRPF convoy of 30 vehicles on the highway outside and then walked inside the institute.

Two paramilitary constables were killed in the initial ambush and the militants then moved into the EDI building, turning it into a concrete bunker and the site of a lengthy siege.

“The militants had a long window to escape, but they stayed and waited. It seems they had come prepared,” a police official at the site of the ongoing gunbattle told The Tribune.

The location of the gunfight holds a considerable significance. It paralyses the highway, which militants have targeted several times in past years. It is also the site of an encounter in which two militants were killed two months ago, and officials are not dismissing the ongoing attack as revenge and a message by militants that they can attack anytime, anywhere.

The fighting at Sempora raged throughout the day with lengthy pauses of silence that followed a repeat pattern. Police and Army commandos would open a stream of fire and the militants would fire single shots – either displaying a sophisticated level of training or saving ammunition for a longer battle.

“For them their time is over, for us we have plenty of time. We are deliberately going slow because we want to prevent further casualties,” said Inspector General, Operations, CRPF, Nalin Prabhat, who was monitoring the situation near the site of the gunfight.

He said the militants seem to have chosen the building “very carefully, knowing it is huge”. “This definitely would fall in the realm of fidayeen … they have no intention of running away. They wanted to carry out a spectacular attack on the national highway,” Prabhat said.

Around 1:30 pm, as the clock neared 24-hour mark into the gunfight, an armoured vehicle rushed past police barricades carrying an injured Special Forces commando Lance Naik Om Prakash --- the fifth fatality --- while the battle at the highway seemed a long way from its end.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/jammu-kashmir/-son-s-martyrdom-a-proud-moment/199400.html
‘Son’s martyrdom a proud moment’
N Kalia

Jind, February 21
The family of Captain Pawan Kumar Khatkar is proud of the supreme sacrifice made by their son for the motherland. Captain Pawan Khatkar (23) of the 10 Para was killed in an encounter with militants in the Pampore area of Jammu and Kashmir in the wee hours today. He will be cremated at his native Badana village with full military and state honours on Monday. His body will be brought to Jind in an aircraft.

Captain Pawan Khatkar was the only son of his parents. His father Rajbir Khatkar said it was a proud moment for them when they came to know about the martyrdom of their son this morning.

The headmaster of Government School in Budha Khera village of Haryana’s Jind district, Rajbir said: “I received a phone call at 3 am and one of the colleagues of Pawan told me that my son had got injured in the encounter. Later, I received another call in the morning from the regiment headquarters, confirming his martyrdom.”

“I talked to Pawan for the last time on Friday. He told me about the ongoing encounter with militants in the Pampore area,” said Rajbir. He said: “To join the Army was Pawan’s childhood dream. He was selected for the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, in 2009. Later, after being trained at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, he was commissioned into the Army in 2013.”

“Initially, Pawan was recruited in the 7 Dogra Regiment but later joined the 10 Para. Pawan was serving in Jammu and Kashmir since September 2015 and it was his fourth operation against terrorists in the Valley,” he further said.

“My son was very efficient and a brave officer. He was the first to join the Army in our family,” said Rajbir. “Last month, Pawan had come home on leave. It was our last meeting with him,” said Rajbir.


http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/jat-quota-protests-haryana-govt-reachout-to-protesters-but-violence-continues/1/601023.html
Jat quota protests Live: Govt agrees to grant OBC status to jats
Situation in Haryana continues to be grim as the Jat protests have entered the fourth day. Violence continues in different parts of the state, particularly in Rohtak and Jind. 33 Army units have been deployed in 9 districts of Haryana along with 10 company of paramilitary forces. However, in spite of the curfew, violence has not ceased.
Situation in Haryana continues to be grim as the Jat protests have entered the fourth day. Violence continues in different parts of the state, particularly in Rohtak and Jind. 33 Army units have been deployed in 9 districts of Haryana along with 10 company of paramilitary forces. However, in spite of the curfew, violence has not ceased.
Eight more people were killed in police firing and other protest related incidents in the state on Saturday. Over 80 people have been admitted to various hospitals in the state, 30 of them on Saturday. Jhajjar witnessed severe violence on Saturday when a mob set fire to an electricity substation and attacked an Army column. Haryana DGP YP Singhal told the media that 10 people have been killed and over 150 injured across the state.
Despite various political leaders including Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal  Khattar appealing protesting Jats to maintain calm and peace, violence and arson continued during the night in various parts of the state, crippling the normal life in worst affected places like Rohtak, Jind,  Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Sonipat, Hisar.

The road and rail traffic through Haryana and destined to neighbouring states, including Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Chandigarh remained disrupted with authorities cancelling bus and train services on most routes in the wake of continuing blockade.
The Jat stir has severely hit the movement of more than 800 trains. Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) today suspended all bus services on routes passing through Haryana in view of the protests.
Delhi too is staring at huge water shortage in next one or two days with 60 per cent of water supply affected due to the Jat stir.  All government and private schools in the capital will remain closed on Monday. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting which was held today at the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today.


http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-a-jat-and-a-jnu-degree-holder-this-23-year-old-soldier-gave-up-his-life-in-the-pampore-encounter-2180505
A Jat and a JNU degree holder, this 23-year-old soldier gave up his life in the Pampore encounter
Born on Army Day, January 15, 1993, Captain Pawan Kumar's father Rajbir Singh knew his son was destined to join the Army. What he didn't know was how soon his son would give away his life for his country.

Captain Pawan Kumar, a 23-year-old soldier, died fighting terrorists on Sunday in Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir. He and other four security personnel were killed during the firing that took place when terrorists were holed up in EDI building in Jammu.

The brave martyr is a Jat from Jind district in Haryana. According to a report in The Hindu, he is also a degree holder from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi. Two groups of people, who are out on streets agitating for different issues, just lost one of their own.
In his last Facebook post, the soldier touched many hearts when he commented upon both JNU and Jat agitation. He wrote, ​

"Kisiko reservation chahiye to kisiki ko azadi bhai. Humein kutch nahin chahiye bhai. bas apni razai."

(Some ask for reservation while some ask for independence. I don't want anything, except my blanket.)

Pawan Kumar belonged to the 10 Parachute Regiment and has been part of two successful operations in which three terrorists were killed.

Rajbir Singh is a proud father today. He is proud that his only child joined the Army and became a martyr today. "I had one child, I gave him to the Army and to the nation. No father can be prouder," Singh said.

"He was a very brave and intrepid officer with barely three years of service but maturity beyond his years," he added.

Captain Pawan Kumar graduated from National Defence Academy and was commissioned into the Army on December 14, 2013. He had served in the Army for less than three years now.

The Indian Army paid tribute to Capt Pawan Kumar on Sunday.


"Captain Pawan was a young officer, son of a school teacher. He was a dynamic officer and a true commando. In fact, just last month, he was injured in an encounter in Pulwama just five days after his 23rd birthday. He was advised to go on sick leave, but he declined," Lieutenant General Satish Kumar Dua said. 

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