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Srinagar gunfight ends as security forces gun down two militants

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Srinagar, Feb 13: Two holed up LeT militants, involved in a failed terror bid on a CRPF camp here, were gun-downed on Tuesday in a nearly 30-hour-long encounter. 

“While one was gunned down as he came out of the under-construction building to get into another adjacent building, the other was trapped and killed inside the building that they took refuge in on Monday,” a police officer said.

The exact identity of the militants was still being established, the police said, adding that a search operation in the area was going on.

The militants had taken shelter inside the Karan Nagar area building a day ago after an alert sentry at the observation post of the 23rd battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) spotted them and fired, averting a possible terror attack on the camp.

Carrying backpacks and AK-47 rifles the militants were forced to withdraw and later trapped inside the building from where they had been engaged in the gun battle with the security forces.

A CRPF trooper was killed during the gunfight on Monday while a constable of the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police was injured.

The attempted terror bid on the CRPF camp came close on the heels of the Sunjuwan military camp attack, in which seven persons, including six soldiers and a civilian, were killed

Meanwhile, a fresh terror attack was averted by alert guards at the entrance of an army camp in Jammu on Tuesday. Two motorcycle-borne militants approached the entry point of the army camp in Domana area around 4.30 am. They fired towards the sentry post. As the guards retaliated, the terrorists were forced to flee. A search operation is now underway to trace the militants, according to IANS.

IANS

India

Farm laws: Rahul Gandhi urges PM Modi to protesting farmers

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Rahul Gandhi Farmers

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach out to the farmers protesting against the three farm laws and give them a “healing touch”.

Sharing a news report about the protest of farmers in Punjab marking the festival of Dussehra by burning effigies of PM Modi and corporate companies against the Central government’s three farm laws, Rahul Gandhi said it is a “dangerous precendent” which is bad for the country.

“This happened all over Punjab yesterday. It’s sad that Punjab is feeling such anger towards PM. This is a very dangerou precedent and is bad for our country. PM should reach out, listen and give a healing touch quickly. ” Rahul wrote on Twitter.

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Coal scam: Ex-Union Minister Dilip Ray sentenced to 3 years jail

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Dilip Ray

Former Union minister Dilip Ray was on Monday sentenced to three-year imprisonment in a coal scam case. Ray was convicted in the case which pertains to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.

A Delhi court had earlier this month reserved the order for October 26 after hearing arguments from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well the convicts. The court directed the convicts to be present before it physically on that date.

Besides Ray, former minister of state (coal) in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, the CBI had sought life imprisonment for other convicts – two senior officials of the Ministry of Coal at that time, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam, and Castron Technologies Ltd’s (CTL) director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla.

Ray was convicted under various sections including 409 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which pertains to criminal breach of trust of trust by a public servant.

“I am very surprised at conviction under section 409 of the IPC as the same court in the past has acquitted people in 409 IPC in view of three-judge bench judgement of Supreme Court. However, I welcome sentence not being harsh of three years having been imposed by the court,” said Vijay Aggarwal, advocate who represented various accused in 2G scam and is also representing various accused in coal scam cases.

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‘Democracy being hollowed out’, Sonia Gandhi attacks PM Modi, Centre

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Sonia Gandhi in Cong meeting

Congress President Sonia Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of doing “sinister conspiracies” behind every political protest opposing it and being determined to pursue its “authoritarian strategy” regardless of consequences.

In an op-ed written for Hindustan Times, the senior Congress leader attacked the central government over using investigative agencies to target political opposition and dissenters, diverting attention from people’s real problems, handling anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protest and Hathras rape case, and more.

Sonia Gandhi began the article by calling democracy of India – world’s largest -at the crossroads and added that it is clear that its economy is in deep crisis. She goes on by saying, “that all the pillars of a democratic system of governance are under assault.”

The fundamental right to freedom of expression has been systematically suspended through suppression and intimidation, she wrote. Dissent is deliberately stifled as “terrorism” or branded as an “anti-national activity”, added she.

According to Sonia Gandhi, the Centre diverts attention from real problems of the people by pronouncing bogus threats to “national security” everywhere. “Of course, some of these threats are real and have to be dealt with uncompromisingly but the Narendra Modi government and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conjure up sinister conspiracies behind every political protest, indeed behind any and everything they see as opposition to them,” she stated.

She further alleged the government in Centre for using investigative agencies to target political opposition, as she said: “Every organ of State that could possibly be used to target political opposition has already been pressed into service — the Police, the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and even the Narcotics Bureau.”

The Congress chief accused the Modi government of designating political opponents as enemies of the country. Calling it a “self-serving”, she said that the move unleashed the “most draconian laws in our penal code against any and every protester who disagreed publicly with the BJP and its politics.”

She charged the government for labelling anti-BJP protests as anti-India conspiracies by giving examples of protests against the CAA and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). She further said the Modi government “chose to vilify it and made it a divisive issue in the Delhi elections.”

“The BJP may have differences with dissenters and civil society activists. Indeed, the same activists have often protested against Congress governments as well. But to paint them as anti-national conspirators promoting communal violence is prejudicial and extremely dangerous for democracy,” article stated.

Taking up the gang-rape and murder case of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, she said that the state government’s response was “vile”.

She said the PM Modi claims to represent 130 crore Indians but his government treats political opponents, dissenters, and those who did not vote for the ruling party as “second-class citizens without democratic rights”.Concluding the article the senior political leader said the citizens of India are not just an electorate but only they are the nation and country will thrive only when democracy as envisioned by our Constitution.

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