Kashmir, where hope and despair flit back and forth

first_imgThe gains made through the Army’s ‘Operation All-Out’ that left 212 militants dead in Jammu and Kashmir this year have been offset by the unprecedented local support to militancy, with the youth from the Valley joining its ranks in south Kashmir.Why is it a worry?The disturbing figures of November, from police data, show that at least six more local youths joined militant ranks. This happened despite the soft-approach adopted by both the Army and the police towards the locals. Armed local militants are offered the option of surrendering even while encounters are raging. They are allowed to return to a normal routine without facing any charge in police stations or forced to hand over weapons, as was the case in the past. Yet, over 150 local militants continue to be active in north and south Kashmir. As the count of the dead mounted, the Opposition National Conference (NC) sought an apology from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for failing to stop violence against civilians.The NC alleged that over 60 civilians were killed in 2017, including women and schoolchildren. Most of these civilian deaths were reported during counter-insurgency operations, especially when the people converged on the encounter site to help the trapped militants escape. Over 70 local militants were killed in such operations.According to a police assessment, around 117 locals, the highest number in the past decade, joined militancy this year. The ostensibly less militancy-affected districts in north Kashmir also showed an upward trend, with locals picking up arms: four from Kupwara, six from Baramulla and seven from Bandipora joined the ranks of militancy. This comes after the official figure of the number of local boys joining armed groups dipped to 23 in 2011.How can it be tackled?One of the biggest success stories of the security forces this year was the return of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) recruit Majid Khan, 22, in Anantnag, a central district in south Kashmir. Khan, an ace footballer who bears a resemblance to English cricket all-rounder Ben Stokes, was fast emerging as a poster boy for militants. His return and the subsequent efforts of the security agencies to wean away other youths was a welcome trend. It helped that families released emotional videos to recall their sons.Over 60 youths, according to the police, have been pulled away from militancy in 2017. However, after the surrender of Majid, around a dozen cases saw the “silent return” of armed youths back to a normal routine. The rounding up of at least three local injured armed militants from encounter sites also earned the good faith of the locals for the security agencies.Will carrot-and-stick policy work?Besides extending the carrot, the security forces dented the capabilities of the militant groups to strike by regularly zeroing in on their top operational commanders, especially the LeT’s Abu Ismail and Abu Dujana, both foreigners.Several battle-scarred local commanders, including Arif Lelhari, Junaid Mattoo, Bashir Lashkari, Sabzar Bhat, Shahbaz Shafi alias Rayees Kachroo and Aijaz Mir, were killed. One top-prize, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Abdul Qayoom Najar, was killed while he was infiltrating through the Line of Control at Uri in Baramulla to revive the militant ranks in north Kashmir.With the capabilities of the LeT and the Hizbul Mujahideen dented this year, the security agencies grapple with a new challenge: resurgence of the dreaded Jaish-e-Mohammad and pro-al-Qaeda ideology group, led by local commander Zakir Rashid Bhatt alias Musa, who left the post of divisional commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen for being “too soft.” As Jammu and Kashmir stares at 2018, the State continues to slip into the hands of more hard-line militant groups in the absence of confidence-building measures to address the larger political question. The appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as the Government of India’s Special Representative has raised hopes over the dialogue process, but will he be able to take everyone along?last_img read more


‘Yellow vest’ boxer arrested after assaulting French policeman

first_imgFrench police walk through a cloud of tear gas used to disperse “yellow vest” protestors (Gilets jaunes) and others on a side street off the Champs-Elysees after New Year’s celebrations in the French capital Paris on January 1, 2019. – A fireworks display and sound and light show under the theme “fraternity” went ahead on the Champs-Elysees despite plans for further “yellow vest” anti-government protests at the famed avenue. (Photo by Zakaria ABDELKAFI / AFP)French police arrested a former professional boxer on Monday who was seen punching police officers during a “yellow vest” protest in Paris, in shocking scenes that have highlighted the violence of recent protests.The images filmed on Saturday show a heavily built man in a black duffel coat square up to several police officers before knocking them down in a hail of punches and kicking them on the ground.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño View comments The French boxing federation issued a statement condemning the violence, saying that it “ran completely contrary to the values of our sport”.“The French Boxing Federation sends its support to the family and loved ones of the officer who was a victim of this individual, but equally to all the security forces who have been on duty these last weeks,” it said.Dettinger’s former coach, Jacky Trompesauce, had urged the father of three to give himself up to police earlier on Monday.“There was something that set it off, which I learned overnight,” Trompesauce told RMC radio on Monday morning, claiming that a woman was attacked by the police, prompting Dettinger to respond with a flurry of punches.“Yellow vest” protests against fuel taxes began in rural and small-town France in late November, but then mushroomed into a wider revolt during December against the policies and governing style of 41-year-old Macron. Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Around 50,000 “yellow vest” protesters took to the streets again on Saturday in cities around France to denounce the centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron, leading to clashes in Paris, Bordeaux and Rouen.Several men driving a forklift truck also smashed open the doors to the ministry building of government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux in Paris, who denounced the break-in as an “unacceptable attack on the Republic”.While the number of protesters has dwindled since December, the determination of a smaller but increasingly radical core of “yellow vest” protesters poses a dilemma for the government.On Friday, Griveaux said those still protesting were “agitators who want insurrection and, basically, to overthrow the government”.He called Monday for everyone to take part in a national debate on taxation and the government’s pro-business programme, which is set to begin later this month.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completioncenter_img PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next One of the officers is then beaten by other protesters wearing yellow vests before he is rescued by fellow riot police in protective equipment and helmets.The ex-boxer, identified by French media as 37-year-old Christophe Dettinger, is a former heavyweight professional fighter who reportedly works for the local government in the Essonne area south of Paris.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsInterior Minister Christophe Castaner said Dettinger, known in the ring as “The Gypsy From Massy”, a town south of Paris, had handed himself into police in the capital.“He was immediately arrested and will be held accountable for his acts by the justice system,” Castaner added. Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin sought to distinguish genuine protesters, who want lower taxes and more help for low-income families, from those “who are in the business of ultra-violence”.“And faced with ultra-violence, we need to be ultra-severe. It needs to end,” he told RTL radio on Monday.French police signalled a tougher line last week when they arrested one of the leaders of the “yellow vests”, truck driver Eric Drouet, for organising an unauthorised demonstration.The move led to criticism from political leaders on the far right and radical left, who have encouraged demonstrators to continue taking to the streets to underline their discontent with Macron’s agenda.Images of a policeman striking several protesters in the southern city of Toulon on Saturday also risk fanning the flames.The police officer — a commander who was granted France’s highest award, the Legion d’Honneur, on January 1 — was referred to investigators at the weekend after appearing to punch a protester in the face several times.‘Surrender plea’The “yellow vest” demonstrations have been frequently violent since they began in late November, particularly on December 1 when crowds ransacked a museum in the Arc de Triomphe and daubed graffiti on the famed monument.The French media has been targeted, while mock executions of Macron have also been a feature of some gatherings, notably in the town of Angouleme in southwest France.Dettinger, the boxer, could face years in jail if convicted over his rampage on Saturday on the Leopold-Sedar-Senghor bridge which links the Tuileries gardens to the Musee d’Orsay in central Paris.Assaulting a police officer can lead to up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros (51,000 dollars), though sentences can be increased in certain circumstances. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trae Young, John Collins power undermanned Hawks past Heatlast_img read more


Steph or Seth Curry? Coin flip to decide who mom, dad represent

first_imgSteph Curry has been to the NBA Finals four times, winning three with the Warriors. This is his brother’s first playoff run.“It would be great for Seth to get a (championship) ring, but we can’t root for one son over the other,” 54-year-old Dell Curry said. “We’re just going to let it play out and have fun watching them both play.”Big brother is proud.“He’s had a very interesting journey to get to where he’s at, dealing with some significant injuries and surgeries as well where he missed two entire years basically coming out of college and this past year,” Stephen said. “For him to just grind and understand that he belongs on this level, it’s just we’re going to take a different path. His confidence in himself never wavered.”Dell said it’s been fun, and exhausting.The Currys have been jetting around the country for the last month on commercial flights, back and forth between Oakland, Portland, Los Angeles, Denver and Houston to see their sons play. They’ve attended 21 of their sons’ combined 24 playoff games, only missing two Blazers’ first-round games in Oklahoma City and one second-round game in Denver.Sometimes, Dell and Sonya wake up in a hotel unsure of what city they’re in.“Everybody says to us, ‘You guys have to be tired,’” Dell said. “I’m like, ‘Well, we’ll probably sleep for a week when it’s over.’” Literally.With sons Stephen and Seth Curry becoming the first siblings to face each other in an NBA conference final, it’s a dilemma most any parent would love.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsDell and his wife, Sonya, decided wearing a split jersey with the Warriors and Blazers would be “too easy.” Instead, they’ll flip a coin before each game in the best-of-seven series to determine which team they’ll represent.Stephen Curry can’t imagine how this might feel for his folks. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates the team’s win over the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Friday, May 10, 2019, in Houston. Golden State won 118-113, winning the series. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Dell Curry was standing near the loading dock at the Pepsi Center in Denver when Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum approached, gave him a big hug and asked, “Which shirt are you wearing?” for the Western Conference final.“Got to flip a coin,” Curry responded.ADVERTISEMENT And a lot of traveling.Dell and Sonya Curry plan to attend every game, sitting with Stephen’s wife Ayesha at Warriors home games and with Seth’s fiancée Callie Rogers when the Blazers host.“They’re like the Royal Family of the NBA,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Monday. “It’s incredible. There they are, Steph and Seth, both having all this success. As parents, they must be having the time of their lives. Actually I know they are because I’ve talked to them about it. What a beautiful scene. I’m sure it will be conflicting for them this next couple of weeks but what a great story.”Dell, who played 16 seasons in the NBA and is currently a TV analyst for the Charlotte Hornets, said the entire situation is just a bit unnerving for him.“I normally don’t get nervous for games when either one of them play,” he said. “But I got a little nervous knowing how they’re going to play against each other.”As hard as this will be on the parents, Dell knows it will be even more difficult for his sons.“It’s going to be tough to put everything aside and battle each other because as siblings they want each other to do well,” Dell said. “They watch each other’s games and cheer for each other.”Earlier this year, the Curry boys competed against each other in the 3-point shootout at the All-Star Game in their hometown of Charlotte, with 31-year-old Steph getting the best of his younger brother.Seth, 28, said it’s hard to believe they’ll now meet in the playoffs.“So many years I’ve watched Steph play in the Western Conference final, the NBA Finals, being in the crowd,” Seth Curry said. “It’s going to be fun to be out there on the court, competing, to get to that final. It’s a dream come true for us, but our families are going to have a lot of fun as well.” Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertecenter_img View comments DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Vergel Meneses wins mayor, Dondon Hontiveros tops councilor race; Yeng Guiao loses congressional bid “I just know watching Seth play I get nervous watching him like on TV and stuff,” Stephen said after practice Monday. “For them, it’s family and parents who supported us all the way through the ranks.”The parents’ routine will go something like this: If Sonya flips heads, she will wear Blazers attire to support Seth, while Dell wears Stephen’s Warriors colors. If the coin lands on tails, she’ll dress in Warriors clothing while Dell dons Blazers gear.Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, left, looks on as Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry reacts as time runs down in the second half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Sunday, May 12, 2019, in Denver. The Trail Blazers won 100-96. (AP Photo/John Leyba)The next game Dell gets to flip the coin, and so on — until the series is decided.So who gets to flip the coin for Game 1 on Tuesday night?“Well, we have to flip to see who flips first,” Dell said with a laugh. “There’s going to be a lot of coin flipping going on.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Philippine Arena Interchange inauguratedlast_img read more


Discus thrower Kumari to miss Asian Games despite qualification

first_imgGuwahati, Jun 26 (PTI) Haryana’s discus thrower Sandeep Kumari cleared the qualifying mark for the Asian Games at the National Inter-State Athletics Championship but she will miss the upcoming mega multi-sporting event in Jakarta as her accreditation has not been done. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) cannot be faulted as it has done accreditation of around 300 athletes based on the form of past few years and Kumari has not taken part in any major championships in the last five years. “The deadline of sending a long list of athletes to the IOA for accreditation is long over. We have sent names of around 300 athletes for accreditation and her name is not there. we cannot do anything now,” a top AFI official told PTI. “She has not taken part in any major championships fore the last five years. So we could not anticipate that she can qualify for the Asian Games,” the official said. Kumari won the gold with a throw of 58.41m while the qualifying mark set by AFI is 57m. “This system of sending long list is faulty as this kind of situation can arise,” the official said. The AFI will have to submit the list of finally selected athletes by June 30. India has been allotted a quota of 102 athletes (52 men and 50 women) in track and field for the Asian Games. PTI PDS KHS KHSKHSlast_img read more