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# Army foils infiltration bid, kills 6 militants
Mop-up operation still under way in Keran sector
The Army on Sunday said it foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of Kupwara and killed six militants.
A Srinagar-based defence spokesman said after the killing of the militants in the morning, the Army was engaged in a mop-up operation.
“The operation in the area is still under way,” said the spokesman, without furnishing further details.
North Kashmir’s Keran sector has witnessed frequent infiltration bids this year. Around 10 infiltrators were killed in the sector close to the LoC in the past two months. Sepoy Sukhwinder Singh, part of an Army patrol, was killed along the LoC on June 7. A group of six militants, ambushed the Army and fled from the area. Earlier, on June 3, the Army foiled an infiltration bid and killed one militant at Manjeet post.
The area, over 100 km north of Srinagar, is home to dense forests and sharp ridges, with numerous natural caves acting as bunkers and shelter for the militants.
A total of 16 militants, including two locals, have been killed near the Line of Control (LoC) since the Centre announced cessation of operations on May 16.
Buried in PoK
Meanwhile, two Al-Badr militants from Haihama in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, killed in a gunfight along the Line of Control (LoC) near Gulab Post adjacent to Lasdat area two days ago, were buried in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Sunday.
# India rebalancing ties with Pak. to open path to Eurasia
New Delhi looks to SCO as promising framework in effort to build new bridges
In a significant gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain shook hands and exchanged pleasantries after a press conference by the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) here on Sunday.
The conciliatory moment came at the end of the media briefing which was addressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. China is the host and chair of the SCO.
After engaging with China in Wuhan and Qingdao, India appeared to be rebalancing its ties with Pakistan in order to build bridges with Eurasia, within the framework of the eight-nation SCO.
Mr. Modi and Mr. Hussain were among the leaders who attended the media briefing after the end of the 18th SCO summit where India and Pakistan participated as full-fledged members.
The relations between the neighbours have been strained after an attack on an Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan-based terror organisations in 2016.
Official sources on Sunday declined to single out Pakistan as a source of international terrorism.
“Pakistan is not the only country responsible for terrorism,” an Indian official, who did not wish to be named, said. Asked if India’s position on Islamabad had shifted since the September summit in Xiamen, where Pakistan-based groups had been named in the joint BRICS statement, the official said that “the SCO format was very different from BRICS, of which India was a founding member.”
A diplomatic source told The Hindu that India was exploring the possibility of connectivity to Central Asia through the Pakistan-Afghan corridor, under the SCO framework. “The SCO has been working on connectivity among its member countries. Now that India and Pakistan are both members, it provides New Delhi with a fresh opportunity to reach out to Central Asia across the Pakistani corridor,” the source said.
An Indian official had earlier told The Hindu that as its full participation neared, the Indian side “seriously began to explore opportunities presented by New Delhi’s participation in the SCO.”
“The result is an evolving policy towards Eurasia, with a Central Asia core.”
Asserting India’s continued opposition to China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, Mr. Modi said mega connectivity projects must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries. However, New Delhi, he said, would support initiatives which ensure inclusivity. Referring to the “unfortunate” example of the effects of terrorism in Afghanistan, he hoped that the steps taken by its President Ashraf Ghani would be respected by all the players in the region.
( With PTI inputs)
# An inspiration to young farmers
Dayanand Appayyanavarmath of Kurgund is reaping with integrated farming
Dayanand Appayyanavarmath of Kurgund village has succeeded in reaping rich harvests in a small plot of land by practising integrated farming.
On two acres of plant, he has planted fruit trees such as mango, coconut, guava, jamoon and jackfruit. He has built two gobar gas units that light up his house and generate a few units of electricity to maintain the fertigation unit in the farm.
Mr. Appayyanavarmath has built a hydroponics unit to grow wheat to feed the cows. He keeps honeybee boxes in the garden to harvest honey. He also sells bee boxes to farmers. He has built a greenhouse to grow vegetables and flowers. Four vermi-compost units provide chemical-free fertilizer for his crops and trees. A farm pond collects water from the borewell that irrigates the farm through drip and micro-sprinklers.
Being open to new technology and taking calculated risks have helped him face challenges, including erratic rainfall and uncertain pricing of farm produce.
“I don’t depend on one product. If I suffer losses in grain, I will make it up in fruits, honey, milk or vegetables,” he says.
It took him special efforts to convince the people of his village to connect the community toilet to the gobar gas plant. When I told them that human waste can be mixed with cow dung to produce gobar gas and, in turn, electricity, they ridiculed me. But now, “I am running my kitchen entirely out of gobar gas. I don’t have an LPG connection. Farmers from far off places come to my house to see the gobar gas unit and seek my help in building similar units in their backyard,” he said.
“Knowing that I was a Fine Arts graduate, my father in-law initiatly agreed to give his daughter in marriage to me. But when he learnt that I was a farmer, he hesitated,” he said. “I had to wait four years before I convinced him that a small farmer like me can be successful. Now, he is happy and goes around telling everyone how I am an inspiration to young farmers,” Mr. Appayyanavarmath said.
# Couple killed, eight injured by wild bear in Srikakulam
A wild sloth bear killed a couple and injured eight persons in Sompeta and Mandasa mandals of Srikakulam district on Sunday.
The bear, which reportedly came from the nearby forest areas of Odisha-Chhattisgarh, caused tension among the hundreds of residents of Yerramukkam, Sirimamidi and Pitali villages. The couple, Bipalli Tirupati Rao (52) and Urmila (50) of Yerramukkam, succumbed to the severe injuries in the Sompeta government hospital. Lack of facilities and absence of doctors on Sunday also reportedly contributed to their death. The condition of the injured persons was also pathetic. Bipalli Duryodhana, Bipalli Rajaesh, Bipalli Paparao, Ratti Appanna, Appala Swami received multiple injuries. The bear, which moved swiftly in the villages, killed many animals like cows and goats. Angry villagers, armed with sharp objects and sticks, chased it away in Pitali. Collector K. Dhananjaya Reddy and Joint Collector KVN Chakradharbabu directed District Forest Officer Ch. Santi Swaroop to submit a report.
A team of forest officials visited the villages.
District Medical and Health Officer S. Tirupati Rao rushed teams from Palasa, Itchapuram and surrounding areas to treat the injured. Palasa MLA Gowthu Shyam Sundar Shivaji announced compensation for the kin of the victims and the injured.
Srikakulam District forest Officer Ch.Santi Swaroop on said that the government would pay Rs. 5 lakh as compensation for the kin of the persons who were killed in the attack. The injured will get up to Rs. 1 lakh as compensation.
# 83-year-old woman dies after car driver loses control near Karnad
A 83-year-old woman died after the car she was travelling in fell into a roadside ditch near Karnad on the National Highway 66 on Saturday. According to Mulky police, Appi A. Sherigar, mother of Nadaswaram player Nagesh Bappanadu, was returning in the car along with her grandson Tushar. She had gone for treatment in Surathkal.
The police said that the car driver Surendra lost control of the vehicle on a stretch in Karnad when it was raining heavily. An injured Appi Sherigar was taken to a hospital nearby where she died in the evening. Surendra and Tushar escaped unhurt.
# 16 held for lynching two in Assam
CM warns those floating rumours
The police have arrested 16 people including a Facebook instigator in connection with Friday night’s lynching of two adventurers by a mob at a village in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district on suspicion that they were khupadhora or child-lifters.
The mob had bludgeoned Niloptal Das, a 29-year-old sound engineer and engineering dropout Abhijeet Nath, 30, to death at Panjuri Kacharigaon under Dokmoka police station.
They had driven to the village, about 200 km east of Guwahati, in an SUV asking for directions to a waterfall.
Videos of their lynching have triggered protests in Guwahati besides generating anger on the streets. Given a history of ethnic violence in the State, the BJP-led coalition government has advised restraint to ensure the incident does not lead to a communal backlash.
# RTC strike dropped, 16% IR to crew
Decision entails a burden of Rs. 16 cr.
The proposed indefinite strike by 10 unions of the crew of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) from the midnight of Sunday was dropped after the government conceded an interim relief (IR) of 16% of basic pay, pending recommendations by the Pay Revision Commission (PRC).
The decision was announced by the Ministers’ Committee headed by Finance Minister Eatala Rajender, which held marathon discussions with the unions led by the majority union Transport Mazdoor Union (TMU). As the stalemate in the talks between the two sides continued for the fourth day, the Ministers’ Committee referred the matter to Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday afternoon. He, in turn, gave consent for providing IR of 16% as an immediate measure. The announcement of the 16% IR to the employees, effective July 1 this year, would translate into a Rs. 16-crore burden on the corporation every month, adding up to nearly Rs. 200 crore a year. Ministers T. Harish Rao, who is also honorary president of the TMU, K.T. Rama Rao, P. Mahender Reddy, and G. Jagadishwar Reddy also participated in the talks.
Source:- The Hindu