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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

Facing the Indian Army Heat in the South, Terrorists Shifting to North Kashmir

200 well-trained and well-equipped militants, mostly foreigners, are said to be active in Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora Districts of North Kashmir.

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KASHMIR VALLEY (Jammu & Kashmir): At a time when Security Forces (SFs) have launched a major offensive against militants in south Kashmir, a large number of militants are silently concentrating in Northern parts of the Valley, not far from the Line of Control (LoC).

Sources said that nearly 200 well-trained and well-equipped militants, mostly foreigners, are active in Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora Districts of North Kashmir.

“Not only this, more militants are waiting on launch pads for infiltration across the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). This has posed a serious challenge to the Security Forces, who are more concerned about southern Districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag,” they said.

After the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016, the face of new age militancy in South Kashmir has emerged as the bastion of not only militancy but anti-India protests. “This has given a breather to militant handlers in the north as security forces are more engaged in the south to tackle militancy and street protests,” sources added.

Frontier District Kupwara tops the list of active militants.

“Between 90 to 110 well-trained militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) are operating in Lolab, Kandi, Chowkibal, Kralpora, Trehgam and Kalaroos areas of Kupwara and Rajwar, Kandi, Nowgam, Kralgund, Zachaldara and Mawar areas of Handwara Police districts,” they revealed.

Similarly, they said 70 to 90 militants are active in Baramulla and Bandipora Districts of the north, while 90-120 ultras are waiting on the launch pads in PoK near the LoC to infiltrate into areas opposite to the operational area of 19 Division of the army.

“And another 120-170 militants are waiting in the areas opposite to the operational area of 28 Division of Army. Most of these militants belong to LeT, JeM, HM, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) and Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM). There are 28 launch pads in PoK where these militants are taken before they are infiltrated into Kashmir after reconnaissance,” sources added.

A Senior Police Officer, involved in counter-insurgency operations, said it is possible that the concentration of attacks and encounters by local militants in south Kashmir is designed to give the foreign militants in the north a chance to take roots.

“It won’t be too far when you will see the action in south Kashmir turns out to be a sideshow as the main action begins in the north. The militants in the north, besides being well-trained have latest and sophisticated weapons,” he said.

Local militants operating in South Kashmir, the officer said, are poorly trained and not well-equipped. “Being close to LoC, the militants in the north have access to more sophisticated weapons. In coming times, more encounters will be reported in the north, and security forces can suffer more casualties due to the fact that battle-hardened Pakistani militants are present in north Kashmir with the latest weapons,” he warned.

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

HUGE SUCCESS: Specialist Combat Unit Eliminate 14 Naxals in Gadchiroli

A team of C-60 commandos, a specialised combat unit of the Gadchiroli police, carried out the operation.

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GADCHIROLI (Maharashtra): Fourteen Naxals were killed in an encounter with the police in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district.

Police said a team of C-60 commandos, a specialised combat unit of the Gadchiroli police, carried out the operation.

“Fourteen Naxals were killed in the encounter. Combing operations are still on,” Sharad Shelar, Inspector General of Police, said.

The official said that two district-level commanders of the proscribed outfit, identified as Sainath and Sainyu, were among those killed in the encounter.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Ankush Shinde of Gadchiroli range confirmed the casualties saying,”We have recovered 14 bodies from the spot, which include Sainath and Sinu. This is the first time that two DVC members have been killed in a single operation.”

Sainyu, killed in the operation was a divisional committee member of South Gadchiroli union of CPI (Maoist), and Sainath was commander of Perimili Dalam. The two major divisional committee members in one operation are noted as a major record.

Director General of Police Satish Mathur congratulated the C-60 team which participated in the encounter.

“This is a major operation against Naxals in recent times,” Mathur said.

n 2017, a total number of 19 Naxalites were killed in an encounter region at Gadchiroli. The highest Naxal deaths till now in the above-said region is seven and the number was double in 2013 Korchi tahsil and 2017 in Sironcha tehsil.

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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

President Gives Nod to Ordinance for Death Penalty for Rapists of Children Below 12

There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

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NEW DELHI: President ram Nath Kovind promulgated The Criminal Law amendment ordinance, 2018 to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to pave way for a death penalty to those found guilty of raping children up to the age of 12 years.

The President’s nod to the ordinance came after the Union Cabinet’s approval yesterday for tightening the law against people involved in rape, following public outcry over cases of sexual assault and murder of minors in Kathua and Surat and the rape of a girl in Unnao.

“Whereas Parliament is not in session and the President is satisfied that the circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.

Earlier, the Cabinet on Saturday approved the promulgation of an Ordinance to amend Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 to introduce the death penalty for rape of children younger than 12 years.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. In case of rape of a girl under 16 years, minimum punishment increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

Several political leaders cutting across party lines hailed Centre’s move.

“Now, therefore, in an exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution, the President is pleased to promulgate the following ordinance,” the gazette notification said.

The ordinance stipulates stringent punishment for perpetrators of rape, particularly of girls below 16 and 12 years.

The death sentence has been provided for rapists of girls under 12 years.

The minimum punishment in case of rape of women has been increased from the rigorous imprisonment of seven years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment.

According to the ordinance, in case of rape of a girl under 16 years, the minimum punishment has been increased from 10 years to 20 years, extendable to imprisonment for rest of life, which means jail term till the convicts “natural life”.

The punishment for gangrape of a girl below 16 years will invariably be imprisonment for the rest of life of the convict.

Stringent punishment for rape of a girl under 12 years has been provided with the minimum jail term being 20 years which may go up to life in prison or death sentence.

Gangrape of a girl under 12 years of age will invite punishment of jail term for the rest of life or death, it said.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act stand amended with the promulgation of the ordinance after the approval of the President.

The measure also provides for speedy investigation and trial.The time limit for investigation of all cases of rape has been prescribed, which has to be mandatorily completed within two months.

The deadline for the completion of a trial in all rape cases will be two months.

A six-month time limit for the disposal of appeals in rape cases has also been prescribed.

There will also be no provision for anticipatory bail for a person accused of rape or gang rape of a girl under 16 years.

It has also been prescribed that a court has to give notice of 15 days to a public prosecutor and the representative of the victim before deciding bail applications in case of rape of a girl under 16 years of age.

Enhancing the powers of the judiciary to provide stringent punishment in rape cases, the Union Cabinet had approved a number of measures, such as strengthening the prosecution, besides setting up new fast-track courts in consultation with the states and high courts concerned,  according to an official.

The National Crime Records Bureau will maintain a national database and profile of sexual offenders.

This data will be regularly shared with the states and the Union territories for tracking, monitoring and investigation, including verification of antecedents of sex offenders by the police, the official said.

The present scheme of One Stop Centres for assistance to the victim will also be extended to all districts in the country.

 

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INTERNAL CHALLENGES

CRPF Officer Martyred in Gunfight with Maoists

The martyred security person was a native of Madhya Pradesh.

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SUKMA (Chhattisgarh): An officer of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was martyred in a gunfight with the Maoists in a dense forest in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

The gunfight took place on Friday night in Kistaram police station area when a team of CRPF’s 212th battalion was out on a search-cum-area domination operation, Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Bastar Range) Sundarraj P said.

The deceased was a native of Madhya Pradesh.

Security forces have launched a combing operation in the area, located around 500 km away from the state capital Raipur.

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