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Police will probe Vaishno Devi shrine stampede, take action against those involved in scuffle: J&K DGP

Dilbag Singh

A police probe into the stampede at the Vaishno Devi shrine will go on along with the investigation of a high-powered committee, and action will be taken against those involved in the scuffle that led to the incident, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh said on Sunday.

Twelve pilgrims were killed and over a dozen others injured in the stampede at the revered shrine atop the Trikuta hills in Reasi district in the early hours of Saturday after a scuffle between two groups of pilgrims during the New Year rush.

The committee headed by Principal Secretary (Home) Shaleen Kabra, with Divisional Commissioner Jammu Rajiv Langar and Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Singh as its members, has been set up by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and has been asked to submit a report within a week.

“The committee constituted would look into the causes that led to the stampede,” Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said.

Replying to a question whether police will take action if those involved in the scuffle were identified, he said “yes” and added that “police would do its work simultaneously”.

He said the government has already set up a three-member committee to inquire into the “unfortunate” incident which was the result of the “irresponsible” behaviour of some people.

One of the members of the committee is a senior police officer under whose jurisdiction the shrine comes.

The DGP was the first who had indicated that the stampede was a result of a scuffle between some people. This was confirmed late night by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.

The stampede happened around 2:15 am on January 1 near Gate No three of the Bhawan.

“The unfortunate incident, due to a scuffle between two groups of pilgrims, resulted in the stampede. In this ill-fated incident, a total of 12 pilgrims lost their lives and 16 others were injured,” the board had said in the statement.

This is the first such tragedy at the revered shrine located atop the Trikuta hills – about 50 km from here – that attracts lakhs of people every year.

Singh had personally visited the shrine in the aftermath of the stampede on Saturday and reviewed the situation.

Kashmir

Overnight Shopian operation called off after militants escape

The overnight military operation in Nowgam village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district was called off on Thursday morning as militants, believed to be two in number, managed to escape, reports said.

Two army soldiers were injured in the initial exchange of fire in the encounter that broke out on Wednesday evening shortly after security forces cordoned off the area following a tip-off about the presence of militants there.

Today, massive searches were launched at the first light in the morning, however, no militant was found the present following which the joint cordon-and-search-operation launched by police and army was called off.

Also Read: India reports over 2.86 lakh new cases with positivity rate at 19.59%; 573 deaths

A top police officer said that the militants “possibly escaped in the initial phase of the encounter in which two soldiers were critically injured”.

The officer said that intelligence inputs suggested the presence of two militants including a foreigner in the area.

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Kashmir

J&K: Unidentified person killed, SPO critically wounded in train accident

On Wednesday, an unidentified person was killed, and a special police officer (SPO) was critically wounded in a train accident in the Kakapora area of the Pulwama district.

An official told the news agency that an unidentified person was hit by the speedy train who died on Kakapora. An SPO identified as Shabir Ahmed, while trying to save the unknown person, was also hit and critically wounded.

“The injured SPO was critically wounded and is being treated at SMHS hospital,” a doctor said, adding that his condition is very bad.

 

Also Read: Driver dead, another injured as lorry rolls down into gorge

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Kashmir

Lt Governor unveils ‘Charkha’ at Srinagar International Airport

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today virtually unveiled a Charkha (Spinning Wheel) at the Srinagar International Airport.
The Charkha measuring 8.6 ft by 4.3 ft and weighing 71 kg has been installed by the Jammu & Kashmir Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB).
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor said that Charkha symbolizes Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of Self-Reliance and its installation at Srinagar Airport on Republic Day is a befitting tribute to Bapu and to all the great freedom fighters of India.
“Charkha was made a symbol of economic self-reliance by Bapu in 1918 and became an important part of Swadeshi and Indian Independence movement like Non-violence, Satyagraha and Civil Disobedience”, he added.
Terming the occasion as historic, the Lt Governor said that the Charkha at Srinagar airport will inspire us to encourage greater public participation in the development framework of the UT and to meet the needs of the people by optimally utilizing our social capital and other resources.
“Today, when our country is celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mohatsav and moving steadily towards the fourth industrial revolution, I believe Charkha will serve as a symbol of Atma Nirbhar Bharat campaign of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and will inspire the citizens of the UT and all countrymen to work towards building a self-reliant J&K, and a self-reliant India”, the Lt Governor remarked.
The Lt Governor observed that J&K is making great strides in fulfilling the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat and keeping with this spirit, continuous efforts are being made for the revival and conservation of Khadi, Rural Arts & Crafts, besides expanding their reach to the international market.
Hon’ble Prime Minister’s slogan – ‘Khadi for Nation, Khadi for Fashion’- has gained greater popularity and now international designers are using Khadi in New York and London fashion shows, he further added.
The Lt Governor also called for collaborative efforts to preserve the identity of the world-famous handicrafts, art and culture of Jammu and Kashmir, on the occasion.
Highlighting the initiatives taken by J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) to create livelihood generation opportunities for the people of the UT, the Lt Governor said that in the last three years, 11,978 units have been established under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program and 1,803 units have been established under the Rural Employment Generation Program, besides 4,904 units have also been established for the deprived sections and women.
“Under all these schemes, about 1,50,000 people have been provided with viable employment opportunities”, he noted.
The Lt Governor congratulated Dr Hina Bhatt, Vice-Chairperson, Jammu & Kashmir Khadi and Village Industries Board, and the members and officials of KVIB on this historic occasion.
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Covid-19 Stats

28 Jan 2022, 12:00 PM (GMT)

Coronavirus Stats

40,620,197 Total Cases
492,356 Death Cases
37,677,328 Recovered Cases

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