Three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in a night long encounter in Pulwama. Their charred bodies were recovered on Thursday morning.Police sources said all three trapped militants, who engaged the security forces in a gunfight on Wednesday night, were killed in a house. The house of a civilian was completely damaged in the encounter as it caught fire.The slain militants were identified as Majid, Irshad and Shariq. Two rifles have been recovered from encounter site. All killed militants were locals. One of the three militants is a teenager, aged around 14.The fresh killing takes the toll of slain militants to five in the past 24 hours.PTI adds…The encounter lasted for over six hours.Majid Dar, one of the slain militants, was involved in a number of killings, including that of sarpanch of Kakapora and district president of Pulwama, a police official said here.This is the first successful counter-insurgency operation in Pulwama area, which is believed to have large presence of local militants aided with a strong-network of over ground workers, he said.The successful operation is a big blow to the LeT terror outfit, which recently lost its commander Junaid Mattoo in an encounter at Arwin village in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on June 17, he added.This is the second successful operation against the terror outfit within three days.On Wednesday, two militants were killed in an encounter in Sopore township of Baramulla district in north Kashmir.
The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday described Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s offer of fresh dialogue with stakeholders as “a golden opportunity for the Hurriyat.”“The Hurriyat and Pakistan should respond positively to the offer of talks on Kashmir. It’s high time for the Hurriyat to initiate a result-oriented and meaningful dialogue with the Government of India,” said PDP general secretary Mansoor Hussain Sohrawardhy.Ready for dialogueIn an interview to a New Delhi-based channel, Mr. Singh said, “If Hurriyat is ready to talk, we have no problem, we are ready to talk to anyone. Even if Pakistan comes for a dialogue, we are ready for it.”The PDP leader said the State government had taken a series of confidence and peace-building measures to put a lid on the violence and bloodshed and that “more [measures] could be taken in the future.” “The ball is in the Hurriyat’s court now. The onus also lies on Pakistan to hold dialogue with India and stop painting the borders and the LoC in Kashmir red,” said Mr. Sohrawardhy.Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq maintained that the Hurriyat leadership would “extend its full support to every serious effort aimed at resolving the Kashmir [issue] so that peace prevails and bloodshed stops”. “It’s long overdue that India and Pakistan allow the leadership of the two divided parts of Kashmir to meet with each other and decide on their future course of action regarding their destiny. Such a step is of utmost importance,” said the Mirwaiz.Meanwhile, separatists forum Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) leader Yasin Malik, also JKLF chief, held a sit-in protest in Srinagar to demand release of all political prisoners.“We demand the immediate release of all prisoners, including Masarat Aalam, Qasim Faktoo, Asiya Andrabi and others,” said Mr. Malik.
In the land of ‘Udta Punjab,’ not just humans, but animals are also being given drugs, it seems! Pigeons and doves used in kabutarbazi – a popular sport in the State’s rural parts – are being fed opium in water and injected medicines to keep them flying for hours, say animal rights activists.While the game involving birds was traditionally developed in the Mughal era as a benign pastime, now illegal gambling is done over it with big money at stake.Causing pain or death to birds is punishable under the Prevention of Animal Cruelty (PCA) Act and IPC Section 429, besides betting comes under the Public Gambling Act, 1867. It specifically prohibits usage of “birds or animals” in Section 13. “But who is able to monitor it?” asks Abhinav Srihan of NGO, Fauna Police. “Several thousand rupees are put on bet, and obviously, the kabutarbaz (pigeon herder) will do anything to win. The harm caused to the pigeon through afeem (opium), or by the stress of staying air-borne for hours, is of least concern,” he adds.PIGEON-SPORTING CLUBS IN PLACES LIKE LUDHIANAA quick scan of social media sites such as Facebook shows various pigeon-sporting clubs existing in places like Moga, Ludhiana, etc. Seasonal and annual championships are held with huge prize money and gifts like motorbikes and refrigerator. Duly, posters are put up for such competitions.An activist, who works in Punjab against these games, explained, “There are three types of kabutarbazi held. One is where two or more parties make their trained pigeons fly. The bird that stays longest in the sky and does not touch the ground, win the game.” This is where use of drugs comes to play, he added.advertisement”The second is where pigeons have to reach a destination; the one which reaches first is declared the victor. And the third is where the herd of pigeons belonging to one owner has to gherao the herd of another and bring it to his master,” he informed.Abhinav said, “We are clearly not against all kinds of pigeon sports. It has also helped communities, over decades, preserve native pigeon species such as Kalsera, Lalsera, Lal Chhapka, Kala Chhapka, Jeera, Hara, Neelam and Kathwa. In fact, sometimes the owners take better care of the pigeons than the government-owned shelter homes. It is gambling and the use of drugs that we strictly abhor and object to. These must be controlled by the enforcement agencies. Nikunj Sharma, Spokesperson, PETA, told Mail Today, “Earlier, the owners used to slap a rubber whip on the walls, which made a cracker-like noise, and scared the pigeons away from coming and resting on the terrace during the competition.”The pigeons are trained not to sit anywhere lest they become the property of other herders, he pointed out. “It’s likely that kabutarbaz are now using drugs. Pouches of afeem (opium) and other drugs anyway come so cheap in parts of Punjab these days,” he said.Also Read:Udta Bihar: Huge spike in substance abuse, alcohol bootlegging year after banBJP breaks silence over drug menace in Punjab, organises ‘run against drugs’Also Watch:Udta Bihar: India Today sting operation shows staggering rise in banned drug seizures
Barely two months before the start of the Women’s World Cup, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the appointment of Tushar Arothe as head coach of the Indian women’s team as former captain Purnima Rau got removed from the job.Rau was sacked without any direct communication from the BCCI even though the Indian team performed quite well when she was in charge. India registered its first bilateral series win under Rau in January last year and beat Pakistan to clinch the Asia Cup in Bangkok. India had to play the qualifiers to enter the main draw of the World Cup and they managed to win that as well beating South Africa in the final in ColomboIt was natural that her sacking drew a lot of flak from experts and the media as appointing a new coach just two months before a tournament as big as the World Cup could have proved disastrous for a young team under Mithali Raj. Arothe was also appointed for a short term with his contract expiring at the end of this month.But Arothe had no trouble taking over from Rau and two months later look at where the team has reached – the final of the Women’s World Cup. Arothe now is bound to get an extension no matter what the result of the summit clash will be.The players have prospered under him in this tournament with Mithali scoring 392 runs in eight matches so far with one hundred. She is the second highest run-getter needs just 13 runs to surpass Australia’s Ellyse Perry. Harmanpreet, thanks to her unbeaten 171 against Australia in the semis, has amassed 308 runs while Poonam Raut is next with 295 runs.advertisementAmong the bowlers, Deepti Sharma is the highest Indian wicket-taker with 12 wickets in eight games and she is third on the overall list follwed by Poonam Yadav and Ekta Bisht with 9 scalps each.Arothe had coached the Indian women’s team before between 2008-2012 and also had a stint as the fielding coach. He knows the senior players like Mithali and Jhulan Goswami having worked with them.Before the start of the World Cup Arothe had stressed on the importance of fielding and fitness which was an area of concern for this Indian team.”We don’t lack in batting and bowling, but fielding and fitness is an area that we lag in comparison with some of the other big sides. That will be the prime focus at the camp in Mumbai,” Arothe told ESPNcricinfo prior to the team’s departure for England.Although fielding is still not India’s strong point, they have improved a lot in this area and have been outstanding on a few occasions during the World Cup.Arothe had also said before that his prior experience of coaching the team would help him a great deal and familiarity won’t be an issue.”The call came from the BCCI asking if I’d be keen. An opportunity to coach the national team is something I didn’t want to miss.”I’ve had prior experience of coaching the women’s team, so familiarity, at least with the seniors, won’t be an issue.”Arothe is highly experienced when it comes to coaching and was involved with the Baroda women’s team for two years from 2008-2010. He also coached Chhattisgarh, Baroda Under-16s and Baroda men’s team in 2016-17 but had to step down after his son Rishi got selected.
In case you missed Mike Gundy lounging on the sideline with Joe Wickline during the bloodletting on Saturday night, here it is. (courtesy of @cdiel17)If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Story Highlights Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says this represents a 4.7 per cent increase when compared to the corresponding period last year. Providing an official update on the performance of the sector at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on September 5, Mr. Bartlett said the sector continues to perform well amidst national, regional and global challenges. Provisional figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) show that between January and August 2018, a total of 2.95 million tourists visited Jamaica.Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says this represents a 4.7 per cent increase when compared to the corresponding period last year.Providing an official update on the performance of the sector at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on September 5, Mr. Bartlett said the sector continues to perform well amidst national, regional and global challenges.He said the figures indicate that the sector is on target to outperform the benchmark target of five per cent growth in five years.“Last year broke all of that, because we got 12 per cent. To grow on last year is a phenomenal achievement and to be growing at the five per cent that we project is even more phenomenal,” the Minister said.He noted that preliminary gross foreign exchange earnings for the first eight months of 2018 were approximately US$2.2 billion.“That means you are trending well ahead of the US$3-billion mark for the end of this calendar year. If we continue with these robust arrival figures to year end, then for the third consecutive year, the growth of Jamaica’s tourism sector would have exceeded the projected five per cent annual growth,” he said.Meanwhile, the Minister pointed out that the figures indicate the country experienced the “best summer” performance for the period May to August 2018.Mr. Bartlett informed that the provisional estimates showed stopover arrivals up by six per cent, when compared to the corresponding period last year.“That is 884,324 visitors compared to the 834,292 in 2017. These figures contributed to total visitor arrivals of 1,312,494, which was a 4.4 per cent increase over the same period last year,” the Minister said.Mr. Bartlett emphasised that this augurs well for the country’s high season, which begins in December. Provisional figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) show that between January and August 2018, a total of 2.95 million tourists visited Jamaica.