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Six-year-old allegedly raped by minor

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Ghazipur :  A six-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a minor at a school here, police said.

The girl, a class 1 student, was lured by the 10-year-old boy studding at the same school, to a dilapidated building in the campus where he allegedly raped her yesterday, the police said.

On the complaint of the girl’s father, a case was registered and the accused presented before the Juvenile Justice Board, the police said.

The girl was sent for medical examination, they said.

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Garud Sappers to cycle over 1300 kms from Leh to Bareilly

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The expedition, comprising three officers and seven other ranks of Garud Sappers, was flagged off by the General Officer Commanding, Garud Division, from Nanak Hill, the spokesman said

A team of the Indian Army’s Garud Division today set off on a 13-day cycling expedition which will cover 1325 kilometres from Leh in Jammu and Kashmir to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.

He said the purpose of the expedition was to spread the message of peace, solidarity, oneness and the indomitable spirit of soldiers of the Indian Army.

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J&K

Congress opposing equal rights for women to appease separatists: Dr Jitendra Singh

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Addressing a function here in connection with celebration of birthday of Maharaja Partap Singh, former ruler of the State, organized by Gen. Zorawar Singh Committee, Reasi, Dr Jitendra Singh without naming Article 35 A, said that the Congress does not want the women marrying outside the State should have the right on their ancestral property to appease separatists.
“This is totally unfortunate on the part of the party”, he said, adding that Congress leaders were speaking language of National Conference and the NC was speaking the language of separatist Hurriyat Conference.

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Agriculture in Jammu and Kashmir: Shrinking farmlands

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The average size of operational landholdings in India, according to the last Agriculture Census of 2010-11, was 1.15 hectares. This figure was lower, at 0.62 hectares, for Jammu & Kashmir and even less for the districts in the Kashmir Valley: Anantnag (0.39 hectares), Kulgam (0.39), Shopian (0.56), Pulwama (0.48), Srinagar (0.31), Budgam (0.43), Baramulla (0.51), Ganderbal (0.37), Bandipora (0.48) and Kupwara (0.51).

Being a mountainous state and with very little land under cultivation, agricultural holdings in J&K are smaller than the national average. This applies even more to the Valley, where most farmers own hardly half-a-hectare.

Given this scenario, any policy relating to agricultural land acquisition in J&K, including for “development projects”, has to take into account its unique natural and topographical features. In the Jammu division, the bulk of agricultural activity takes place in the four districts of Jammu, Samba, Udhampur and Kathua, where the average landholdings also range from 0.73 hectares to 0.95 hectares. The other districts — Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar — are largely hilly, offering only limited cultivation possibilities.

But even within these geographical limitations, the sheer cropping diversity is noteworthy. Thus, the fertile South Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama are known for their apple orchards. Pampore in Pulwama is synonymous with saffron. In Central Kashmir, Budgam district is a paddy, maize, vegetable, almond, plum and pear (especially the Naakh variety) belt, while Ganderbal has cherry and grape orchards. The North Kashmir districts of Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara are famous for walnuts and apples. Bandipora is also home to the Wular Lake and its produce of lotus stems, water chestnuts and fish.

But massive urbanisation, population growth and construction of new roads, highways and railways is steadily eating into these orchards, fields and water bodies.

During the mid-1990s, work on the Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla railway line was taken up. The project was initially welcomed. But when soil for the elevated railway tracks was required, the ‘Karewas’ were its first victim. These plateau-like sedimentary terraces, mostly found in Budgam, got bulldozed. Also, paddy lands and orchards were filled and elevated for constructing the rail line. The project engineers could have explored other options — such as building the line on pillars as was done for the Delhi Metro — to preserve precious agricultural land. Instead, hundreds of hectares of almond, plum, apple and pear orchards located on the Karewas were destroyed.

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