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Over 3,300 pilgrims leave for Amarnath Yatra

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Jammu, July 15: A fresh batch of over 3,300 pilgrims on Saturday left here for the Kashmir Valley to perform the annual Amarnath Yatra, an official said.

“A total of 3,398 yatris left the Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas at 3.30 a.m. in an escorted convoy of 132 vehicles,” the official added.

On the 16th day of the yatra on Friday, nearly 10,000 pilgrims paid obeisance inside the holy Himalayan cave situated at 3,888 metres above the sea-level.

Around two lakh pilgrims have performed the yatra since it began on June 29.

Despite a terror attack on a pilgrim bus in Anantnag killing seven and injuring 19 others on July 10, there has been a steady flow of devotees to the cave shrine that houses the ice stalagmite structure that devotees believe symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

The state police on Friday constituted a six-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) to probe whether or not there had been any security lapse that made the attack in Batengo on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway possible.

The terrorists were successful in pulling off the attack despite intelligence inputs and a multi-layered security cover on the pilgrimage route.

Over 35,000 security personnel drawn from the Army, Central Reserve Police Force, Sashastra Seema Bal, Indo Tibetan Border Police and the state police have been deployed this year to provide security to the pilgrims.

There has been widespread condemnation of the Amarnath attack across the political and ideological divide in Kashmir as the entire society condemned it in one voice.

The 40-day long yatra will conclude on August 7 on ‘Shravan Purnima’ coinciding with the Raksha Bandhan festival.

IANS

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Arunachal Pradesh: Army convoy attacked with grenade by militants in Namsai

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Arunachal Pradesh, Jan 24: Militants attacked Army convoy with grenade in Namsai on Wednesday. 

The blast took place at around 7-20 in the morning when the Army team was returning from conducting operation against insurgents, The Shillong Times reported.

“There was an ongoing operation against insurgents in the area which is known for presence of insurgents belonging to the banned ULFA (Independent) and Naga rebel group NSCN-K” Defence source said.

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Uttar Pradesh: Lucknow school where student was knifed to lose recognition

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Lucknow, Jan 23: A school in the Uttar Pradesh capital where a Class 1 student was critically injured last week in a knife attack by a senior girl to lose its recognition, an Education Department official said on Tuesday.

Officials stated in the aftermath of the January 16 incident, an inspection was carried out at the Brightland School in Triveni Nagar which found “very many discrepancies” both in terms of education standards and the security of students.

The District Inspector of Schools (DIOS) of Lucknow Mukesh Kumar Singh has recommended to the Education Department that the recognition of the school be cancelled, the official told IANS.

Prima facie, the official said, the management has been found guilty of trying to fudge the matter and hide it from the police.

The DIOS said that various classes in the school were being run without permission and against norms, and the team set up by the government had found serious lapses in the security system.

The school was allowed by the Uttar Pradesh Board to have classes till Class 12 but was running additional certificate courses, which is illegal, the official said.

The management has claimed that it had installed 70 CCTV cameras in the premises, but there were only 64 and many cameras were found dysfunctional during the inspection, he said.

There was no attendant near the toilet, where the incident took place in which Hrithik was slashed with a kitchen knife by the Class 7 girl student.

District officials said the state government has directed them to conduct surprise inspections in various schools here to ensure that children are safe and that the managements were adhering to the norms.

IANS

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After 22 days, UP gets police chief in O.P. Singh

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UP DGP O. P. Singh
UP DGP O. P. Singh, Photo tweeted by ANI

Lucknow, Jan 23: After a gap of 22 days — the longest in the history of the Uttar Pradesh Police — the state got a new Director General of Police (DGP) on Tuesday as O.P. Singh took over the charge in the presence of senior officials of the department.

The 1983-batch IPS officer was relieved by the central government from the post of the Director General (CISF) last week.

Soon after coming from the national capital, Singh met senior Home Department officials and on Tuesday visited the famous Hanuman Setu temple to propitiate the Hindu monkey God before driving to the DGP office at 1, Tilak Marg here.

A new name plate bearing the name of the police chief was quickly put up outside his official residence, adjoining the police headquarters.

His predecessor Sulkhan Singh demitted the office following his retirement and after a three-month extension, on December 31 last year and the post had been lying vacant ever since.

Singh had been named as the new police chief by the Yogi Adityanath government, but he had not been relieved by the Centre, much to the embarrassment of the state government.

While the grapevine blamed the Brahmin lobby in the ruling party as the force behind the delay, there was also speculation that Singh’s appointment was being jettisoned as he was very close to former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and was the SSP of Lucknow when the infamous murderous attack on BSP chief and then Chief Minister Mayawati was perpetrated at the VIP Guest House.

However, it was reliably learnt that Chief Minister Adityanath’s will prevailed over others and O.P. Singh was relieved from the Centre. He has a two-year-plus tenure left and this could give him an edge in controlling crime, old timers feel.

Singh has been police chief in Almora (undivided UP), Lucknow, Allahabad, Moradabad, Lakhimpur Kheri and Bulandshahr before serving in the state Intelligence Department and the CISF and the NDRF at the Centre.

IANS

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