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PDP terminates Finance Minister H.Drabu for his remarks on Kashmir

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Jammu: In a big decision, the PDP today removed finance minister Haseeb Drabu from the council of ministers over his controversial remarks that Kashmir is not a political but a social issue.

PDP had shot a letter to Raj Bhavan informing the governor NN Vohra about the termination of Drabu which was immediately approved by him also

Drabu, finance minister of the state has been sacked by the PDP over his controversial remarks that Kashmir was not a political but a social issue.

Raj Bhavan sources told that Governor has approved government, dropping Drabu from the council of ministers with immediate effect.

Pertinent to mention here that at a function in New Delhi last week, Drabu had made remarks that Jammu and Kashmir should not be seen as a conflict state or a political problem, but as a society with social issues.

After the statement, he was asked by the PDP high command to clarify his stand completely disagreeing with his views that Kashmir was not a political issue.

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Eight cattle smugglers arrested in Uttar Pradesh

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Cow; cattle

Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh) | Eight suspected cattle smugglers were arrested here when they were trying to move the livestock to Nepal, police said on Saturday.

Superintendent of Police Gaurav Grover said the police were tipped off about the smuggling in Rupaidiha and Nanpare area of the district which is close to the India-Nepal border.

On Friday, eight cattle smugglers, four of them history-sheeters, were arrested, while they were trying to flee to Nepal, he said. The members of the smugglers’ gang had also unsuccessfully tried to attack the policemen, the SP said.

He said four animals cows, unlicensed pistol, ammunition and a transportation vehicle have been recovered from the arrested accused.

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7 civilians among 11 killed in encounter, protests in J&K’s Pulwama

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Jammu and Kashmir; civilians

Srinagar | Seven civilians died in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district Saturday when security forces allegedly opened fire at an unruly crowd that tried to storm the site of an encounter in which three militants and Army man were killed, police said.

The incident took place at Sirnoo village in the morning when the security forces laid siege to a locality based on intelligence reports about the presence of three militants, including an Army deserter – Zahoor Ahmad Thoker, in the area, police officials said.

As soon as the news about Thoker being trapped in an encounter spread, people started thronging the encounter site as the army deserter belonged to the same village, they said. Though the encounter ended in 25 minutes with the killing of the three militants, the security forces had a tough time as people started climbing onto Army vehicles, the officials said.

They said warning shots were fired but that did not deter the mob, forcing the security forces to open fire at the civilians. Seven civilians were killed and dozens of others injured, including a youth who’s condition was stated to be critical. Thoker had gone missing from an Army unit in the Gantmulla area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district in July last year.

He had decamped with his service rifle and three magazines and had joined the militant ranks. The security forces said Thoker was involved in several killings in Pullman district. The identities of two other militants were being ascertained.

The officials said an army jawan lost his life in the gunfight, while two other soldiers were critical. Authorities have snapped mobile internet facility in entire south Kashmir comprising four districts.

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President Kovind visits Statue of Unity, to lay foundation for railway station

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Kevadiya (Gujarat) |President Ram Nath Kovind Saturday visited the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue, in Narmada district of Gujarat on the death anniversary of India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai
Patel.

Kovind, accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and state chief secretary J N Singh, began his visit in the morning by taking a stroll at the ‘Valley of Flowers’ developed near the 182-metre tall statue here. After planting a tree in memory of Patel, the president attended a prayer meeting at the statue complex.

The world’s tallest statue dedicated to Patel was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October. After offering tributes to Patel, Kovind visited the museum and exhibition area beneath the statue. He also visited the viewing gallery located at a height of 132 metres inside the statue.

Kovind then left the statue premises and headed to Kevadiya village, around 5 kms from the statue, to lay the
foundation stone for a railway station. The state-of-the-art railway station proposed to be built at a cost of Rs 20 crore, is aimed at providing direct rail connectivity to tourists visiting the Statue of Unity.

To connect Kevadiya with the main broad-gauge line, the Railways has sanctioned the work to convert 18-km
Dabhoi-Chandod narrow gauge into broad gauge and extension from Chandod to Kevadia by constructing a new 32-km line.

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