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Postpaid mobile phone services are restored but the Internet were still down

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Over 70 days after the Kashmir was put under an unprecedented lockdown and all communication lines were snapped, the government has restored postpaid mobile services in the Valley.

Postpaid mobile phone services have been restored on the state-run BSNL network in the Kashmir Valley.

Mobile internet and broadband still continue to be blacked out in the Valley since the August decision that saw a magnanimous shift in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

On August 5, Home Minister Amit Shah had announced the government’s major decision to scrap Article 370 to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and also bifurcate the strife-torn state into two Union Territories.

Ever since, the government has imposed an unprecedented lockdown on the Valley, including the blackout of all communication lines.

On Saturday the J&K administration announced that some 40 lakh postpaid mobile phones will become operational from Monday noon.

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2 Naxals killed in an encounter with police in Dantewada

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Two Naxals were killed in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district on Tuesday, police said.

The skirmish took place in a forest near Munga village around 11.30 am when a team of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on a counter-insurgency operation, a senior police

When the patrolling team was advancing through the forest of Munga, located around 400 km from here, and the gun-battle broke out between two sides, a senior official added.

After the exchange of fire stopped, bodies of two ultras were recovered from the spot, the official said.

Some firearms and explosives were also recovered, and a search operation was underway in the area, the official said.

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Controversial Gujarat anti-terror law gets President assent on 4th attempt

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President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill, a controversial anti-terror legislation passed by the BJP-ruled state in March 2015.

One of the key features of the new Act is intercepted telephonic conversations, which would now be considered as legitimate evidence.

The announcement on the Presidential assent was made by Gujarat Minister of State for Home, Pradeepsinh Jadeja, in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, on Tuesday.

The bill, earlier named as the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, had failed to get the presidential nod thrice since 2004 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state.

In 2015, the Gujarat government re-introduced the bill by renaming it as the GCTOC but retained the controversial provisions like empowering the police to tap telephonic conversations and submit them in court as evidence.

Jadeja said the provisions of the bill will prove crucial in dealing with terrorism and organised crimes such as contract killing, ponzi schemes, narcotics trade and extortion rackets.

“The dream of PM Modi was finally fulfilled today,” he said.

“One of the key features of this bill is that the intercepted telephonic conversations would now be considered as a legitimate evidence. This bill also provides for the creation of a special court as well as the appointment of special public prosecutors. We can now attach properties acquired through organised crimes. We can also cancel the transfer of properties..,” said Jadeja.

Other provisions of the act include the admissibility of confession made before a police officer as evidence.

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Killed ISIS Chief Baghdadi’s sister captured by Turkish forces in Syria

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Turkey captured the sister of dead ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Monday in the northern Syrian town of Azaz, a senior Turkish official told Reuters and is interrogating her husband and daughter-in-law who were also detained.

Rasmiya Awad, 65, was detained in a raid near Azaz, the official said, referring to a Turkish-controlled Syrian town near the border. When captured, she was also accompanied by five children.

“We hope to gather a trove of intelligence from Baghdadi’s sister on the inner workings of ISIS,” the official said.

Little independent information is available on Baghdadi’s sister and Reuters was not immediately able to verify if the captured individual was her.

Baghdadi killed himself last month when cornered in a tunnel during a raid by U.S. special forces in northwestern Syria. ISIS, in an audiotape posted online on Thursday, confirmed that its leader had died and vowed revenge against the United States.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director said the woman’s capture was evidence of Turkey’s determination to fight against ISIS.

“The arrest of al-Baghdadi’s sister is yet another example of the success of our counter-terrorism operations,” Fahrettin Altun wrote on Twitter early on Tuesday.

“Much dark propaganda against Turkey has been circulating to raise doubts about our resolve against Daesh,” he wrote, using another name for ISIS.

“Our strong counter-terrorism cooperation with like-minded partners can never be questioned.”

Baghdadi had risen from obscurity to lead ISIS and declare himself “caliph” of all Muslims, holding sway over huge areas of Iraq and Syria from 2014-2017 before ISIS’s control was wrested away by U.S.-led coalition forces including Iraqis and Syrian Kurds.

ISIS said a successor to Baghdadi identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi had been chosen. A senior U.S. official last week said Washington was looking at the new leader to determine where he came from.

World leaders welcomed his death, but they and security experts warned that ISIS, which carried out atrocities against religious minorities and horrified most Muslims, remained a security threat in Syria and beyond.

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