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Jammu And Kashmir - 2
<b>J&k: Huge cache of arms and ammunition seized</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->He said security forces killed two terrorists during an encounter at Lashdat village in the frontier district of Kupwara late on Friday night and seized<b> two AK rifles, eight hand grenades, four magazines, one wireless set and 80 rounds from the slain ultras</b>.

The spokesman said security forces conducted a fresh search operation in the village early on Saturday during which they found a terrorist hideout.

Security forces later seized <b>10 kg of RDX, 161 UBGL grenades, 22 anti-tank grenades, an AK rifle, 419 detonators, one IED, 16 IED boxes, 14 IED switches, seven UBGLs, two RCC bombs, 90 sniper rounds, one Pika gun, five AK magazines and 90 sniper rounds </b>from the hideout.

Security forces also seized <b>nine AK rifles, nine magazines, one Pika gun, one pistol, two magazines, one wireless set, one antenna, one hand grenade and over 150 rounds in Rajouri district </b>on Friday night during two separate operations
<b>CDs of LeT chief recovered in Poonch</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"The Lashkar chief was clearly heard provoking youth of the state to join jihad and get arms training in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK)," sources added.

They said CDs had been recorded and shot at Jamaat-ud-Dawa office at Chburgi, Lahore, bearing telephone numbers (042) 7240940, 7230549 and 7231106 and email address www.jamatdawa.org.

This is for the first time that the audio and video CDs of Hafeez Sayeed have been seized from the possession of slain terrorists during the 17 years of terrorism in the state, sources said.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Twelve killed in militancy related incidents in J&K

Srinagar, Sep 16 (PTI) Nine ultras, including four top militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, were among twelve people killed in separate militancy-related incidents across Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesman said today.

A Pakistani national, functioning as chief administrator and financial controller of Jammu-Udhampur districts for LeT, Abu Mohammad Sayeed, was shot dead by troops of the nine Rashtriya Rifles in a gunbattle at Nandimarg forest in Kulgam, 70 kms from here last night, a defence spokesman said.

Terming Sayeed's killing as a major achievement, he said the Pakistani national, who hails from Lahore, oversaw LeT operations for the past three years in Udhampur as the outfit's district commander.

Sayeed had apparently come across Pir Panjal in Kashmir valley to exfiltrate back to Pakistan, the spokesman said.

He said the top militant was wanted in several killings had served as the Amir (chief) of LeT madrassa in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

Apart from a large quantity of arms and ammunition, including one AK rifle, a hand grenade, two cell phones and a stamp of district commander of LeT, high denomination Indian and Pakistani currencies were also recovered from the slain militant, he said.

He said two militants, identified as Firdous Ahmad and Shabir Ahmad, belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were killed in an encounter with troops of 65 Rashtriya Rifles at Wahipora in Pulwama district this morning. PTI

<!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> American led Valley raid

Neelesh Misra

New Delhi, September 24, 2006(Hindustan Times)

In an obscure small town in the United States, an 84-year-old US Army veteran died this year, leaving behind a historical enigma: the American was one of the leaders of the thousands of ruthless tribesmen, who raided Kashmir in 1947.

A letter brings alive his adventure and tales of valour in Kashmir, along with some “historical truths”. Months after he left home in Denver, Colorado in July 1947, Russell King Haight Jr was thrown into the Kashmir conflict, one of the highlights of a dramatic life that took him to some of the most violent war zones of the 20th century, including Korea and Vietnam. In a letter penned before his death in Norman, Oklahoma, Haight said he was acting alone in Kashmir and rejected the view that he was on an espionage mission. He cited one reason for joining the conflict: “I disliked Hari Singh, who was the ruler of Kashmir. He was a Dogra.’’ But Haight also had some other stories to tell.

“Sardar Mohammed Ibrahim Khan (founder of the Azad Kashmir government) offered me a captaincy in the Azad Kashmir forces and I agreed,’’ he wrote. The British army officers gave him an official uniform and made him a Brigadier-General “as a joke” in the Azad Kashmir army.

He also had the answer to a question that India never asked him: a January 1948 story in the New York Times quotes him saying that he was “ready to testify (at the United Nations) that Pakistan supported the Moslem tribal invaders of Kashmir.’’

Indian diplomats apparently did not reach out to him for his account. Haight died on May 13, after a “worldwide” career. He briefly joined the Canadian Army and took part in the famous World War II battle of Dieppe; went to Afghanistan to work for a construction company, and then to Kashmir. After rejoining the US Army, he fought the Korean War, followed by stints in Germany, Bolivia and the Vietnam war.

Haight, who retired in 1967 as a sergeant-major, is survived by his wife and two daughters. His letter, mistakenly sent to a wrong address, was delivered recently.

The letter documents the days that shaped Kashmir’s destiny — when thousands of attackers tore down the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar highway in buses and trucks in the autumn of 1947. The highway was the lifeline of Kashmir; the same road where a peace bus would travel after six decades and three India-Pakistan wars later. The attack was aimed at forcing the hand of King Hari Singh, who had not decided whether his province would join India or Pakistan —even two months after the Partition had been formalised and hundreds of other rulers had chosen their country.

The frenzied raiders captured towns, burnt villages, robbed and raped, pulverized the king’s army and unleashed a furious campaign that seemed set to culminate in the annexation of Kashmir by Pakistan. But in October, the Indian military joined the campaign after the king sought New Delhi’s help and agreed to accede to India. On October 27, Indian Dakotas began air operations against the raiders.

“While fighting in Jhelum, we had only two working machine-guns which we had recovered from a downed Indian Air Force plane. Three Pathan tribesmen tried to take them, so we had to kill them,’’ Haight wrote. “I escaped with a truck, a driver and the two machine guns.’’ And his fellow soldiers turned against him.

“There were two attempts on my life. The first time, two men in civilian clothes tried to shoot me in my hotel,’’ he said. “The second time, a shot fired at me in the dark punched a hole in my hat.’’

The Indian communist weekly “People’s Age” accused him of being an American spy. From a leader of Pathans, Haight suddenly became a fugitive. “I got back to India where I hid in a hotel trying to figure out how to get out of the country,” he wrote. An American journalist helped him escape.

<b>Islamist spies with a licence to kill</b>
<b>Even if the Indian Government would have approached him at that time nothing different would have happened. The West would have taken the same view of the issue which they had taken without the evidence of this person. The West at that time had framed up its mind to support Pakistan, as they felt it has to be helped to counter the possible rise of India. They were well aware of the fact that the first Government of Independent India will not be performing all the dance numbers to their tune.</b>
<b>Video - Genocide against Hindus perpetrated by Islamic terrorist in Kashmir </b>
<b>Srinagar terrorist attack leaves 2 dead, 6 injured</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Two policemen were killed and six others injured in a fierce gun battle, which lasted over eight hours, between separatist guerrillas holed up inside a hotel and security forces in Srinagar city on Wednesday.

The security forces entered the restaurant of Standard Hotel in city centre Badshah Chowk from where the guerrillas had been firing at the troops.
HT is back to same old language.
<b>Attack on CRPF camp: Al-Mansoorian claims responsibility</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->64 Doda Hindus migrate to Chamba 
Chander Shekhar Sharma | Chamba
A group of 64 Hindus arrived from Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir to Nodhal Dhar area of Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh here last night after travelling on foot and fearing threats of liquidation from militants in that area.

The group comprising 30 children, 14 women and 20 men covered the long journey in 72 hours with death haunting them from their native village of Sawara of Gandoh Tehsil of Jammu and Kashmir.

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>The group also included four employees of the Jammu and Kashmir Government - Dinesh Singh, Jitendra Singh, Naresh Kumar and Suresh Kumar. Talking to The Pioneer, they said the militants had kept them in custody in their respective houses. However, they all managed to escape from the militants. They alleged that the situation in Doda district, which is also the home district of J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, had worsened as no one was safe there.

One of the women, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the situation had worsened after the Congress had come to power in the State. She said that they had not perceived any threat to children and women during the regime of the National Conference. </span>

Most of the captives heaved a sigh of relief on reaching Nodhal Dhar and presented themselves before officials of India Reserve Battalion belonging to the Himachal police. <b>All the migrants have been brought to Tarela base camp from Nodhal Dhar and were being sheltered by the Chamba district authorities</b>.

Sub divisional magistrate of Tissa RK Saha reached Tarela village along with station house officer of Tissa Mehar Chand and other police and civil officials to provide food and shelter to the migrants last night. He assured them each and every facility. Assistant superintendent of police Sunil Kumar, who also reached the base camp at Tarela, was trying to locate suitable accommodation for the migrants.

SHO Mehar Chand said that the migrants were in a terrified state and were reluctant to return to their native villages without proper security.

Mohan Lal, a local BJP leader from Chamba, accused the Central and State Governments for the deteriorating law and order situation in the State. He demanded adequate security for the innocent people. He said that earlier too, 750 Hindus from Doda had reached Chamba and that time too, the Government had assured them adequate security. However, no such security was provided.

The State authorities are baffled with the reports that another groups of people numbering around 136 from the nearby villages of Sawara from where the first batch had arrived last night were expected in the Nodhal Dhara area any time.

These people had also left their respective villages along with their children but they preferred to take rest, according to Suresh Kumar, who had reached the Nodhal Dhar area in the first batch. He told The Pioneer that he too was perturbed over the fate of the persons on their way to Nodhal Dhar area from their respective villages. He was praying for the safety of others, as according to him, militants might follow them.

<b>Kumar said that the situation in their areas was alarming and that was why they were forced to leave their homes and to reach the high hills of Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh.</b>

Meanwhile, the <b>HP Government has taken a serious note of the situation and had directed the Chamba district authorities to provide all sorts of medicines, foodgrains and other articles to the migrants. </b>

There are reports that Chief Minister Vir Bhadra Singh had talked to the Chamba authorities in this respect today and enquired about the details of the migrants and their further course of action. 

Where we can find Roy, Karkat ot Shabana Azmi and other langoors to protect Kashmiri Hindu?
Ethinic cleansing is in full swing and Queen is busy appeasing Muslims.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>25 kg RDX found near Doda temple </b>
Twenty-five kg RDX was found buried near Sukrala temple in Kishtwar town of Doda district, a few days ahead of its annual festival, Army officials said on Monday. Explosives and detonators were found buried in a field near the temple during a sanitisation operation. They suspected a plan by militants to use the RDX to target the temple during its annual festival that begins midweek. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Siachen back on radar </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><i>The Centre is again considering demilitarisation of the glacier as it tries to boost ties with Pakistan</i>

NEW DELHI: The demilitarisation of Siachen glacier is yet again actively being considered by the government as it tries to rejuvenate the Indo-Pak bilateral ties based on the recent Havana agreement.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee is visiting Siachen for a day on Tuesday to get a first hand idea of the field level perception of a possible military withdrawal from the world’s highest battlefield. The minister’s visit is the latest in a series of consultations with military on the Siachen withdrawal. In fact, Mukherjee’s junior, minister of state Rao Inderjit Singh had visited Siachen for three days last week.

The ceasefire at the glacier since November 25, 2003 is still holding and has brought down the challenges to soldiers deployed on the inhospitable terrain. But enemy fire has not been the biggest threat to soldiers at the glacier, where more lives have been lost to the freezing weather than anything else.

Sources say the demilitarisation of Siachen is now “back on the agenda” and is being actively considered by the government as it pools together efforts to activate the Havana agreement between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

The core of the agreement is to set up a joint mechanism to investigate terrorism cases, but senior officials indicate that the mechanism would be a starting point for broader bilateral process.

Officials are not very enthusiastic about the joint mechanism producing any sterling achievements. However, with the mechanism as an excuse, they are hopeful of moving forward to address issues like <b>demilitarisation of the glacier, ending disputes over Baglihar, Sir Creek etc. </b>

The new foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon had indicated at Havana that both the sides would pursue the Siachen issue in the coming days.

Mukherjee’s visit is part of the renewed effort within the government to address the issue.

This is the second visit of Mukherjee to the glacier as defence minister, the first was in August 2004.

[center]<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Musharraf’s version of events</span></b>[/center]

Some pertinent excepts from the Article :

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>To begin with, General Gracey refused to obey the Quaid when he was ordered to move the army into Kashmir (though in his case Gracey merely threatened to resign and to force the resignations of the British officers and not to dismiss the government)</span>
It is a pity that Ayub’s book stops just before the Kashmir war, otherwise we would have had his version, <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>but we do have General Musa’s version, Asghar Khan’s version and Altaf Gauhar’s version — all of them agree that the basic concept was wrong.</span> <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Kargil is a repetition of this basic pattern.</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo--><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<b>Top Al-Badr terrorist killed in J&K encounter</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In another major success, security forces in Jammu and Kashmir killed a top Al-Badr terrorist in Rajouri district on Wednesday.

In a joint operation, the state police and Indian Army shot dead Qasim, a top Al-Badr commander in Chandial in Rajouri, about 180 kms north of Jammu after a fire fight.

The shooting down comes close on the heels of the killing of top Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen commander Billu Gujjar on Tuesday.

Qasim was involved in a series of terror attacks in areas south of Pir Panjal
Manmohan Singh told Kuvalehti magazine: "I would not like to discuss this issue in public with Musharraf. We are prepared to discuss all issues pertaining to relations between India and Pakistan, including the Jammu and Kashmir issue.

"I have said on many occasions that we cannot discuss moving borders. We have to create a situation in which it is irrelevant on which side of the border the inhabitants of the area live, because goods as well as people can move freely. That is the job of the two governments, and it is the only alternative."

He was satisfied with his meeting with Musharraf in Havana Cuba during the non-aligned summit. "We agreed on common procedures to uproot terrorism. I hope Pakistan will seriously work with us on this issue. "The current constructive dialogue is based on Musharraf's commitment made in January 2004 to guarantee that Pakistan will not allow any kind of terrorist activities in its territory."

<b>Terrorists abduct two Kashmiri villagers</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Terrorists arrived in the villages of Dauthan and Tender and cornered Ghulam Mohammad, Ghulam Hassan, Ram Lal and Shadi Lal.

Ram Lal and Shadi Lal, however, were freed after the villagers formed a human chain around them and forced the militants to set free the two Hindus.

The Terrorists took away with them Hassan and Mohammad along with the ammunition provided to them for the defence of the villages
<b>Army marks Martyrs Day in J&K</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> 
In 1947, 'Kabailis' (tribesmen) attacked Jammu and Kashmir and invaded parts of the state, which later came to be known as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

To prevent the Kabailis from occupying more areas, the Indian Army, with the Indian Air Force, landed in Srinagar and the day is celebrated every year as Martyrs Day and also as Infantry Day.

Giving details about the day, a defence spokesman said Pakistan launched an invasion to annex Jammu and Kashmir on October 22, 1947.

About 7000-8000 raiders aided by regulars (officers and junior commissioned officers) of the Pakistan army advanced towards Srinagar.

"The tribesmen supported by Pakistani soldiers swarmed across the Jhelum river and began systematic plunder, arson, rape and mindless killing of the unarmed and innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir," the spokesman said, adding that in the campaign against the invaders, the people of the state joined the Indian Army.

He said the state forces headquarters at Srinagar was informed and Brigadier Rajinder Singh reached Uri on October 23, 1947. The force of approximately one company held out against about 4000 tribesmen till October 24, 1947 and later withdrew to Mohura, he added.

Despite high casualties, the spokesman said the soldiers were able to hold the enemy till October 26, 1947, when they were overrun and almost all of them perished fighting.

Brig Rajinder Singh, killed in the attack, was awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously.

"The raiders entered Baramulla town on October 26, 1947 and promptly set about raping, plundering and killing. Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were killed and looted without discrimination while women were forcibly abducted to be sold in the streets of Rawalpindi and Peshawar or to live as slaves in distant tribal territories," he said.

The spokesman added that a Kashmiri Muslim, Mohammad Maqbool Sherwani, was tortured and shot to death in public for rousing the locals to resist the invaders.

While Baramulla was being ransacked, Maharaja Hari Singh requested military assistance from the government of India, paving the way for induction of Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir, he added.

The Maharaja later signed an instrument of accession with India, which was accepted by the then Governor General.

"Apart from the men in uniform, civilians also played a crucial role in liberating the valley. Very few know that a civilian washerman, Ram Chander, won a Mahavir Chakra for rescuing an officer wounded during an ambush, shooting down several enemy troops in the process," the spokesman said.

He said 1 Sikh deployed at Gurgaon was ordered to concentrate in Delhi on October 26, 1947. The first battalion of Sikh Regiment, commanded by Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Raj, made a historic airlift to Srinagar on October 27, 1947 for the defence of Kashmir with the first aircraft landing in Srinagar airport at 0930 hrs.

"The raiders were now barely 60 km from Srinagar. Intelligence reports received by Col Rai revealed that they had not reached Baramulla. He then left a portion of 1 Sikh to guard the airfield and moved forward to Baramulla via Pattan, a small town 17 miles from Srinagar," he said.

After advancing 34 miles from Srinagar on this road, the spokesman said Col Rai ordered his troops to take up positions around the hills east of Baramulla. He took a small party with him and when it had moved halfway into the town of Baramulla, the raiders fired on them.

Col Rai was killed by a burst of automatic fire from a hill outside the town of Baramulla, but the attack on Pattan defence did not materialise as expected, he added - "This was probably because the raiders were unsettled by the appearance of this force and were unsure of their strength. They instead decided to fan out and bypass the Pattan defence and head for Srinagar."

On November 7, Sherwani was caught, nailed to a post through the palms and chest and brutally cut down by a volley of 14 bullets. It was on this day in 1947 that the 170-km Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, also known as the Jhelum Valley road, was closed for traffic.

However, the road was reopened on April 7 last year when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched a cross-border bus service -- Karvaan-e-Aman -- between PoK and Jammu and Kashmir following an agreement between India and Pakistan to allow divided families to meet each other after nearly 58 years.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Abdullah takes a cosmopolitan bride </b>
K. Z. Islam
<b>Sheikh Abdullah married the daughter of Harry Nedou, the European proprietor of a chain of hotels in India including Nedou's hotel in Srinagar</b>. Harry had converted to Islam and took the name Sheikh Ahmed Hossain. He married a Kashmiri girl and they had a daughter called Akbar Jahan. Akbar Jahan completed her Senior Cambridge from the English Missionary Convent at Murree in the Punjab. Akbar Jahan was a Muslim, but it is unlikely that she, and her background, which included a previous marriage when she had lived in cosmopolitan Bombay, would have fitted in easily with the orthodoxy represented by Mirwaiz Mohammed Yusuf Shah. Mirwaiz, it will be recalled, was the title given to the Islamic religious leader in Kashmir.

  Mufti Ziauddin of Poonch played a significant role in arranging Abdullah's marriage. It must have been quite an unusual step taken by Abdullah to marry a girl of mixed parentage. Although Abdullah's political pre-occupations and stints in jail kept him pretty much busy yet he agreed to the persuasions of his friends. The financial advantages of the marriage were evident at that time and it marked a crucial early step in Sheikh Abdullah's progress towards becoming the richest man in the State.

  Despite her mixed origin and cosmopolitan upbringing Akbar Jahan became a devout Muslim. She was under the influence of Maulvi Mohiuddin who came from Kabul and was appointed Headmaster of the Islamia High School in Srinagar. Ultimately he resigned his post and spent the rest of his life as a dervish. He played a significant role in Akbar Jahan s spiritual training.

  Soon after Abdullah's engagement he was once again arrested and confined to Udahampur. He corresponded regularly with his fianc e. He was released at the end of a six-month period after which he married Akbar Jahan in October 1933. They moved into a rented house in Puchwara and later shifted to the residential quarter of his father-in-law located at the back of Nedou's hotel. Abdullah's brother helped him to construct a house near their ancestral home in Surak, where they finally settled down.

  During the winters Akbar Jahan and the family visited her parents and whenever possible Abdullah joined them. Evidently theirs was a very close and intimate relationship and Akbar Jahan proved to be a true friend and comrade to Abdullah. She introduced order in his turbulent life. Patiently facing all the trials she was Abdullah's source of strength and inspiration. In Abdullah's absence she ran the house single-handedly and never complained. It was her untiring effort that resulted in their children completing their education notwithstanding Abdullah's continued absence from the domestic scene. Akbar Jahan was a perfect home maker whose main concern was to look after her children's problems.

  Eventually, however, <b>she was dragged into national politics. It happened at a time when Abdullah was in prison and their movement was at the lowest ebb. During the 'Quit Kashmir' movement of 1946, Maharajah Hari Singh and his Prime Minister Kak launched an offensive against their movement. </b>Akbar Jahan promptly stepped out of the seclusion of her home and toured village after village kindling hope in the heart of the helpless.

  After the announcement of Independence on 2nd June 1947, Nehru was very keen to visit Kashmir. He was dissuaded by Mountbatten who preferred that the visit be made by Gandhi. During this visit Gandhi met Akbar Jahan as Abdullah was in jail. Gandhi advised Akbar Jahan to have courage. <b>She not only attended Gandhi's prayer meetings but also participated in them by reciting the Quran</b>. This was, no doubt, a remarkable move by a Kashmiri lady in a conservative society.

  In late 1947 when Kashmir was attacked by the tribals Akbar Jahan organized a Red Cross team and devoted herself to tending the afflicted. Her work in the recovery and rehabilitation of abducted women was greatly admired by the Mountbattens. After 1953 she was implicated in the Kashmir conspiracy case and soon she became the butt of slanderous attack. But she faced all these indignities with courage and fortitude.

  In 1971, when Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, who had been the Chief Minister of Kashmir for ten years, decided to contest elections for Lok Sabha, Akbar Jahan supported an unknown contestant Shameem Ahmed. In this election Bakshi suffered a crushing defeat.

  The Abdullahs had seven children. Two daughters died in infancy. Their eldest son Farooq Abdullah, who is a doctor, eventually became the Chief Minister of Kashmir. In the midterm poll held in 1977, Akbar Jahan was elected to the Parliament. Because of Abdullah's ill health and household pressures she decided not to contest in the next election. Instead she opened a centre for the education of the poor and destitute children. By all accounts Akbar Jahan remains a very outstanding Kashmiri lady.

  We now turn to some personal glimpses of Abdullah's character. Amin Pandit, who began working for the Sheikh's political machine as a sub-editor on the party's daily newspaper, Khidmat (meaning "service"), remembers the first time he was on the receiving end of Abdullah's terrible temper. "I turned on the radio to listen to the 1.30 pm news on All India Radio. We had no teleprinter or news agency service and this is how we gathered our information. I would write it down as fast as I could and reproduce it for the paper. Before the news came on, some music was playing. The Sheikh heard it and came up to me with his hand raised to slap me in the face. Luckily for me he restrained himself but he shouted: 'Do you think this is a ballroom?' He often slapped his subordinates. He slapped his children all over the house. Everybody in the family was scared of him. Even his wife was nervous of him when he went out of control. He was a very emotional man, very sentimental.

  The Sheikh's son and political heir, Farooq Abdullah, has talked of the thrashings he received from his father for ducking school, smoking and other offences. These punishments were so brutal that the Sheikh's homecomings from frequent bouts in jail could be more dreaded than joyful. "Sheikh Abdullah showed no affection or concern for his family," is how Aditya Sinha summed up the family relationship in his biography, Farooq Abdullah, Kashmir's Prodigal Son. When the Sheikh was due to come home Farooq and his siblings would drop at the feet of their mother, Begum Abdullah and beg forgiveness for their minor pranks and "entreat her not to tell their father and promise never to repeat their wild behaviour." Farooq Abdullah remembers a particularly savage beating when he was caught smoking, a habit his father liberally indulged in. Even the family servant, Amma, was permitted to dole out punishments during paternal absences.

  M. J. Akbar has recorded in his India The Siege Within a near-contemporary, D. N. Kaul, who rose to become Inspector-General of Police when Sheikh Abdullah was Chief Minister towards the end of his life, as describing those days: My elder brother whom he (Sheikh Abdullah) taught science used to recall how the tall, slenderly built, fez-capped master in science would render many a scientific term into everyday Kashmiri so as to ensure quick and easy comprehension by the young, captive audience before him. He exuded awe among the students, not only by his censorious and rigorous sense of discipline, but also by his stature, physical and academic, not only vis-a-vis the students but even in comparison to other members of the teaching establishment. Soon after, through the narrow lanes of Srinagar I used to see him lead processions of arm-swinging, vociferously gesticulating and slogan-shouting men. I can still recall his sonorous, mellifluous voice in his public speeches which invariably began with recitations from the Quran or Iqbal's verses. With his audience totally Muslim, and the influence of the university still dominant, Sheikh Abdullah organized the Muslim Conference to take up the cause of his community. But the strains of the future were visible even then: the true fight, he said, was against feudalism, and for self-rule and land reform.

  It may be recalled that the Maharajah had yielded to a sustained movement led by Abdullah and agreed to form an elected Assembly called Praja Sabha. The majority of the members in the Praja Sabh were nominated, only 28 per cent were elected. The Muslim Conference Parliamentary Party elected Mian Ahmed Yar Khan as leader and Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beg as deputy leader. The first session of Praja Sabha was held on 17 October 1934. It was a strange assembly! All the legislative powers were in the hands of the Maharajah. He could also veto any act passed by the Assembly. The Assembly could not discuss matters pertaining to the Maharajah's personal expenses or the army. The Maharajah could nominate any one as a member of the Assembly. Despite these shortcomings, the experiment proved beneficial to Abdullah's movement. It brought the Muslim and the non-Muslim members of the Assembly closer to each other, and in 1936, the entire country saw all the elected members of Jammu and Kashmir staging a joint walk-out.
<b>Shaivism should be revived: Karan Singh</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->NEW DELHI: <b>Underlining the need for reviving studies in Kashmir Shaivism, former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Karan Singh on Saturday said he has requested the Mata Vaishno Devi University to start a new course on the religious way of life. </b>
<b>"We definitely need to revive the study of Kashmir Shaivism. I have personally urged the Mata Vaishno Devi varsity to include Kashmir Shaivism as a special course,"</b> Singh, who is also former chancellor of Jammu and Kashmir University, said during the inaugural function of a two-day seminar on Kashmir Shaivism here.

<b>"For the last 17 years, Kashmiri Pandits have been living as refugees in their own country. In such times, the teachings of great spiritual saints from Kashmir like Lakshman Joo Maharaj need to be spread,"</b> he said.

Eminent jurist L M Singhvi emphasised the need for publishing the original literature on Kashmir Shaivism.

"More authentic study, publication work and research should be done on Kashmir Shaivism," he said.

The Iswar Ashram Trust is already transcripting the audio and visual recordings of the original discourses of Kashmiri saints for research work<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Train to Kashmir hits the highway</span></b><!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

[center]<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Ever heard of a train running on a road? It does in Jammu and Kashmir.</span></b><!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

[center]<img src='http://im.rediff.com/news/2006/oct/31train1.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />[/center]

Set to chug in Kashmir's bewitching landscape in snowy February 2007, the first-ever trial train to Kashmir took off for the Valley on Tuesday not on traditional tracks but on the 300 km-long Jammu-Srinagar national highway, adding another historic chapter to the Rs 4,700 crore Jammu-Udhampur-Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla national rail project.

"It is addition of another chapter to the history of Indian Railways and Kashmir's national rail project, as the first trial diesel mobile unit coach on Tuesday left for Kashmir's Budgam railway station by taking a road route and not a train track from Jammu railway station," Divisional Mechinical Engineer (Northern Railways) Shiv Ram told PTI.

Soon after the 36-wheeled train pulled by a 460 HP special engine drove up the Jammu-Srinagar highway at 0700 hours, Ram said, "It sounds incredible, but the train is running on the highway from Jammu to Badgam via Srinagar. It has happened for the first time in the history of the Indian Railways that a DMU has run on a road."

Amid chanting of mantras and showering of flowers, the train, fitted with 36 big truck wheels, zig-zagged through serpentine road as people watched it chugging on the highway along with trucks and buses. Struck by surprise as the train criss-crossed the highway, onlookers on roads, in buses and from houses thronging the road stood dumbfounded.

"The only difference is that these trains are equipped not with normal iron wheels but with special truck tyres," Ram said.

Such a spectacle, a rare feat of engineering, will become a reality as first of 24 coaches left for Budgam railway station in central Kashmir. This has been made possible by replacing iron wheels of the coaches with truck tyres, which will be pulled by a trailer-truck having 460 HP specially designed engine, he said.

Feeling himself as a man walking into the history of Indian Railways and Kashmir rail project, driver of train Joginder Singh was a happy and proud person. Hailing from Bihar's Fazipora district, Singh said, "I have done Railways proud by carrying a most invaluable gift to Kashmiris."

Determined to carry all the 24 wagons to Kashmir valley for facilitating commencement of train traffic in valley in February next year, Singh said: "I will drive this train to Kashmir in anyway and this would be a small step in integrating Kashmir with rest of the country through rail traffic. I have carried many heavy equipment and other items to difficult hilly and treacherous road tracks across India including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, but this driving a train on kashmir hills is a challenge, a milestone to cross."

Ram said once the coaches reached Badam railway yard, the truck tyres will be replaced by iron wheels for a normal run on rail tracks. Roads have been widened by cutting the corners wherever needed for the movement of this special vehicle, he added.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

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