Kashmir remained on the edge on Saturday as bodies of three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including commander Junaid Matto, were recovered from the Arwani encounter site in south Kashmir. Scores of armed militants participated in their funerals.The bodies of the militants were spotted in the debris in the morning. “Junaid’s killing is a great achievement for us and a blow to LeT,” said Director General of Police (DGP) S.P. Vaid.According to the police, Junaid was a district commander and involved in a number of terror activities, including three attacks on policemen.The bodies of two others, Nasir Wani and Adil Mushtaq Mir, both locals in their twenties, were found in the debris of two civilian residential houses, where they were holed up. They had joined the militancy last year, said the police.“Arms and ammunition, including AK rifles, magazines and grenades, have been recovered from the Arwani site,” said the police.Hundreds of locals attended the funerals of the slain LeT militants as they were buried in their respective hometowns in Pampore, Shopian and Kulgam.Scores of armed militants were spotted at these funerals. Eyewitnesses said these militants offered gun salutes to the slain militants and were seen hugging their bodies as people jostled to catch glimpse of them on their mobile phones. Anti-India slogans raisedPeople raised anti-India and pro-freedom slogans during the funerals.Top LeT commander Saddam Padder and his associates were also seen at the funeral of the slain Nasir Wani at Shopian’s Heff area. He was seen loading his AK-47 and open fire in the air as mourners ducked to stay safe. He raised anti-India and pro-Islam slogans before vanishing into the crowd.“India must pay for its crimes on humanity,” said LeT chief Mahmood Shah.Meanwhile, there were emotional scenes as two civilians hit by bullets were buried in their respective villages. The civilians were killed when the security force opened fire to disperse the locals who were converging on the encounter site.The separatists’ shutdown and the authorities’ restrictions impacted daily life in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday. Large deployments were made in all sensitive locations in Srinagar and parts of south Kashmir. Traffic remained off the roads and train services in south Kashmir were suspended.
A resolution seeking creation of a Legislative Council in Odisha was passed in the State Assembly on Thursday.The resolution moved by State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha was passed with as many as 104 of the total 147 legislators casting their votes in its favour. The ruling Biju Janata Dal has 117 members in the House.The legislators of opposition Congress and BJP staged a walkout before the resolution was put to vote. While Congress had opposed the idea of creation of the Council, the BJP had alleged that the government was moving ahead with the proposal to accommodate the sitting BJD legislators who will not be given tickets to contest the 2019 elections.The resolution will be sent to the Centre for approval of Parliament to facilitate creation of the Legislative Council.Wider consultationsAfter the passing of the resolution, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the creation of the Council will be of great help as wider consultations are required to accelerate the growth momentum that the State has picked up.A proposal for creation of the Legislative Council in Odisha was passed by the State Cabinet on August 24.The proposed Council will have 49 members, which is one-third of the total members of the State Assembly.The Odisha government had set up a committee in 2015 to study the Legislative Councils in other States and recommend for establishment of one in the State.