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Prominent Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale among four arrested in connection with Bhima-Koregaon violence

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After arresting right wing activist Milind Ekbote in connection with Bhima- Koregaon violence, Pune police on Wednesday apprehended four Dalit activists associated with the ‘Elgar Parishad’ which had taken place in Pune a day before the clashes in January this year.

The arrests were made from Mumbai, Delhi and Nagpur. The arrested persons include prominent Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale who was picked up from Mumbai; lawyer Surendra Gadling and activist Mohan Raut were picked from Nagpur; and Rona Wilson was arrested from Delhi.

ANI reported that they have been accused of distributing controversial pamphlets and delivering hate speech that led to violence in Bhima-Koregaon in January this year.

Wilson was arrested by the Pune Police with the help of Delhi Police’s Special Cell. He was produced before the Patiala House court and was sent to 2-day transit remand. He will be produced before a local court in Pune on June 8.

Dhawale was one of the organisers of the ‘Elgar Parishad’ which was organised by Dalit organisations to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Bhima- Koregaon battle between Peshwas and army of East India Company consisting soldiers from Dalit Mahar community. A day after the event, Bhima- Koregaon had witnessed violence in which one person was killed while several people were injured. Dalit groups had blamed right win organisations for the violence.

Following the violence, a case was registered against Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani and JNU student Umar Khalid for allegedly giving provocative speeches. Pune police were also scrutinising the video footage of the event where members of Kabir Kala Manch had also performed.

In the month of April, Police had carried out searches at the residences and offices of Dhawale, Dagling and Wilson. Now five months after the event, Pune police have made the arrests from different parts of the country.

According to the Pune police officials, the arrested accused may have some possible ‘Maoist links’.

“These four arrests have been made in connection with the FIR registered in Vishrambaug police station for inciting people. We are investigating the Maoist link in the Bhima- Koregaon violence,” Joint Commissioner of police Ravindra Kadam said.

Police have slapped Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act (UAPA) along with relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the arrested persons.

Reacting to arrests, Mevani said this was an attack on Ambedkarite movement.

“Maharashtra police has arrested Ambedkarite activist & editor Sudhir Dhawale in Mumbai, advocate Surendra Gadling in Nagpur and Rona Wilson in Delhi. All 3 booked under draconian UAPA while Bhima Koregaon culprit Manohar Bhide roams scot free,” the Vadgam MLA said.

Dalit groups commemorate the 1818 battle as the East India Companys army consisted of Mahars, a Dalit community, who defeated the upper-caste Peshwas forces. However, some Hindutva organisations had opposed the commemoration this time. Dalits visiting the War Memorial at Bhima Koregaon for commemorating the bicentenary of an 1818 victory of the East India Company over the Peshwa’s forces came under attack on January 1 this year.

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Soldier killed in Pak sniping

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Pakistani troops last night sniped a soldier along the Line of Control (LoC) in Tanghdar sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district while militants abducted and killed a man in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and police today arrested two Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of militants involved in rifle snatching.
Pakistani troops last night sniped a soldier of 20-Jat Regiment deployed on Sangar post on the LoC in Tanghdar sector. Sepoy Pushpinder (320658L) was critically injured in the sniping and later succumbed to his injuries.
Sources said that Pakistan troops from Mujahid post opposite to Sangar post shot at the soldier during the night. The Army also fired back but there were no reports of loss on Pakistani side.
And militants last night abducted and killed a man in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district while two Over Ground Workers of militants involved in rifle snatching were arrested today.
The gunmen barged into the house of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Gani Bhat, resident of Murran, Pulwama and abducted him. His bullet riddled body was recovered in the morning. He was running an eye clinic at Bijbehara.
A police spokesman said here:”Terrorists in Murran Pulwama yesterday night barged inside the house of Gulzar Ahmad Bhat son of Abdul Gani Bhat, resident of Murran, Pulwama and abducted him.”
“Later, police recovered the bullet riddled dead body of Gulzar from the nearby fields of Murran, Pulwama. Police has registered a case and initiated investigation. Initial investigation in the matter suggested that in this incident Zahoor Thokar and Showkat Dar led group of proscribed terror outfit HM are involved in this killing”, the spokesman added.
In the meantime, police said that they arrested two OGWs of militants in connection with rifle snatching incident in Khrew, Pampore.
Police said that on August 10, two persons barged inside Jammu and Kashmir Bank Branch Khrew and attacked Bank guard Mumtaz Ahmad with pepper spray and sharp edged weapon in an attempt to snatch his 12 bore rifle. “But the security guard bravely resisted the attempts made to snatch his rifle thereby successfully foiling the rifle snatching bid,” police said.
The guard Mumtaz sustained injuries and was evacuated to Khrew hospital for medical treatment while the accused persons fled away from the spot.
“Consequent upon this, case FIR No. 57/2018 under relevant Sections of law was registered at police station Khrew and the investigation in the matter was initiated,” police said adding “during the course of investigation it came across that two OGWs namely Yasir Ahmad Wani son of Bashir Ahmad resident of Babapora and Yawar Sultan son of Mohammad Sultan resident of Shar Shali, Khrew were involved in commission of crime and were subsequently arrested”, police said

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Advisor reviews developmental scenario in Jammu

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Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar today chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress on implementation of key flagship schemes and programmes and overall developmental scenario in Jammu district.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, DIG Jammu-Kathua-Samba range Bhim Sen Tuti, SSP Vivek Gupta besides HoDs, Chief Engineers and Executive Engineers of various departments, along with Principal GMC, CMO, CEO and other district officers.
The Deputy Commissioner Jammu gave comprehensive overview of the ongoing developmental projects in the district under various sectors.
The Advisor reviewed the pace of progress on upcoming Legislative Complex, modernization of General Bus Stand/development of Multi-Tier Parking, Jammu Ropeway Project, AMRUT projects, Jammu-Akhnoor 4-Laning, Jammu-Ring Road project, extension of Jammu Airport, IIT, IIM and Sewerage Project.
The Advisor stressed the need to have internal monitoring and vigilance mechanism in Government departments and asked the authorities to make judicious use of available resources. He asked the concerned functionaries to ensure involvement of people’s representatives to promote public welfare.
The Advisor directed the concerned authorities to closely pursue pending forest clearances for PMGSY projects and other roads and expediently clear all legitimate and reasonable issues creating hurdles in the development.
He asked the district administration to promote Khelo India campaign and seek support from JKP to make the initiative a success. He also asked for developing more playfields in the districts.
Taking detailed review of the health sector in the district, the Advisor asked the Director Health to organize medical camps and prioritize the posting of gynecologists in remote areas.
He also took stock of availability of doctors, medical staff, medical supplies and critical care ambulances in the district. It was informed that Jammu district has a shortfall of 36 doctors while 2 critical ambulances are available 1 each at Jammu and RS Pura.
Need for maternity ward at GMC, up-grading of PHC at Arnia, need for having more critical care ambulances along with bullet proof ambulances for border areas was also put forth in the meeting.
The Advisor stressed on the need to revamp the Medical Supplies Corporation and directed for installing GPS or Google locator to locate the critical care ambulances.
Taking note of the shortage of Doctors in the Samba and Kathua, he asked the Health Department to frame a schedule of a team of doctors for regular visits to the twin districts. He further directed the concerned officers to visit Kathua District Hospital and submit a detailed report about the patient-care scenario there.
About the requirement of blood banks, it was informed that the DPR of Blood Bank for R S Pura has been submitted. The Advisor asked for re-prioritize the requirements of blood banks and further directed the concerned to submit the priority list for the recruitment of drivers for ambulances.
He also sought report on detachment of doctors and asked the concerned department to come up with the rearrangement and rationalization program.
A detailed discussion on curbing the drug menace was also held in the meeting.
The Advisor said that to eradicate drug abuse, there is a need to have well equipped counseling and de-addiction centres as well as all kind of policing including parent policing and community policing. He asked the Police Department to utilize the services of NGOs for spreading mass awareness against the drug abuse and take suggestions and recommendations from the Police Departments doing good job in curbing drug menace in their respective States.
Progress made on power infra development projects including RAPDRP, DDUGJY, PMDP (Rural & Urban) and other projects including NRDWP, Water Supply Schemes (WSS), PMGSY, SAUBHAGYA and many alike were also reviewed by the Advisor.
The DC briefed the Advisor about the status of other projects including construction of 200 bedded Government Maternity Hospital Gandhi Nagar, additional block of Government Dental Hospital Jammu, 50 bedded Rajiv Gandhi Hospital, Gangyal, 50 bedded Hospital, Kot Balwal besides Women Entrepreneur Development Centre at Exhibition Ground, installation of Intelligent Traffic Lights, development of Raghunath Bazar and development of Suchetgarh Border Tourism.
Meanwhile, several delegations from Jammu including National Newspapers Represen-tative’s Association, Confederation of Indian Industries, Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Border Sangarsh Samiti Arnia, JK Against Corruption Trust and various public delegations also met the Advisor and put forth their issues. He assured that prompt and effective action would be taken up on the genuine issues raised by them.
Later, the Advisor accompanied by Deputy Commissioner, DIG, SSP and ADC paid a surprise visit to GMC Hospital and took stock of the medical facilities, availability of doctors, medical staff, biometric attendance and sanitation.
During his visit, the Advisor interacted with many patients admitted in the hospital and their attendants and enquired about the medical facilities being provided to them.

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Traffic suspended on Jammu-Srinagar NH

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Traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was suspended today after being blocked by multiple landslides triggered by heavy rains in Ramban and Udhampur districts of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

However, Mughal road is open for two-way traffic.

The nearly 270-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was blocked by landslides at Seri in Ramban district and Kheri in Udhampur district, they said.

They said no damage or casualty was reported in the landslides but it led to a massive traffic jam leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.

Over 300 vehicles were stranded at various places en route, they said.

The men and machines of BRO are working to clear the highway of landslides and make it trafficable, they said.

Traffic officials said the Mughal Road, connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with south Kashmir’s Shopian district, was open for two-way

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