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Srinagar, Feb 21 :  The higher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall, while the plains were lashed with rains overnight, the MET Office said on Thursday.

An official of the MET Department said the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded 29 cms of snow, while Kupwara received 11 cms of fresh snowfall during the night.

Snow was also recorded in some areas like Banihal and Jawahar Tunnel along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the official said.

He said there are reports of fresh snowfall in few other areas in the higher reaches of the valley.

The plain areas, including summer capital Srinagar, received intermittent rains during the night which continued till the morning on Thursday.

The MET Office has said there is possibility of rain/ snow at widespread places in the state, with heavy falls at isolated places in Kashmir and heavy to very heavy falls /thunderstorms at isolated places in Jammu on Thursday. It forecast scattered rain/snow at isolated places across the state on Friday.               [Agencies]


Rameswaram (TN), Feb 21 :  Five Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy Thursday for allegedly fishing in the island nation's waters, a Fisheries department official said here.

The fishermen from Jagadapattinam inPudukottai district were fishing near Neduntheevu off the Lankan coast when they were arrested, Assistant Director of Fisheries, Pudukottai, Kumaresan said.

They were taken to Kangesanthurai along with their boat, he added.

Eight fishermen from Mandapam in Ramanathapuramn district were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly fishing in Sri Lanka's territorial waters, Kumaresan said.

Two boats were also seized, he added.

He alleged that Lankan navy personnel had snapped the nets of as many as 50 boats of Rameswaram fishermen who had put out to the sea in over 500 boats Wednesday.            [Agencies]


Mumbai, Feb 21 :  Film producer Raj Kumar Barjatya, known for backing family-oriented films such as "Hum Aapke Hain Koun" and "Maine Pyar Kiya", passed away Thursday morning due to cardiac arrest, according to the family. He was 77.

He passed away at 9.04 am Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital. 

"It is with profound grief that we mourn the loss of Raj Kumar Barjatya, father of Sooraj Barjatya. May his soul Rest In Peace," a statement from the family, posted on Rajshri Productions' official Twitter handle, read.

The producer had complained of back pain and was taken to the hospital on Monday, an official from Rajshri Films, told PTI. 

"He passed away today morning due to cardiac arrest," the official added. 

He is survived by wife Sudha and son Sooraj Barjatya, a noted filmmaker. 

Kumar's father Tarachand Barjatya had founded the production company, known for '90s hits such as "Hum Saath Saath Hain", "Hum Aapke Hain Koun" and "Maine Pyar Kiya". The company had also produced more recent titles such as "Vivah", Salman Khan-starrer "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" and "Hum Chaar", which released this month. 

Kumar's last rites will be performed on Thursday at Worli crematorium.                [Agencies]


Chandigarh, Feb 21 :  Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal Thursday said that his successor Amarinder Singh's only aim was to put him behind bars.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch was reacting to the chief minister's address in the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday wherein he vowed to punish those guilty of the "horrendous" 2015 sacrilege incidents in the state.

"I am prepared to go to jail as their (state government) only aim is to arrest me... I am not afraid of being arrested," the five-time chief minister told media here.

"After reading what Amarinder had said in the assembly, I straightaway came from my village to Chandigarh... I told the DGP that I am available for arrest... I am prepared to go to any jail in the country," Badal said, adding that his fight against the policies of the Congress would continue.

Winding up the discussion on the Governor's address in the ongoing Punjab budget session here, Singh spoke on incidents of sacrilege of religious texts and said that they occurred because of the "failure of the law and order system" during the SAD regime.

"What was that (sacrilege incidents). It was a failure of the law and order system," Singh had said while pointing out that the Badal government had failed to accept even their own Commission's report into the sacrilege incidents.

Amarinder had further informed the House that the Special Investigative Team formed to probe sacrilege and police firing incidents was doing its work and that he would take the findings of the Ranjit Singh Commission report to their logical conclusion.

However, Badal termed the SIT and the Commission set up by the Congress government as a "drama" and asserted: "Amarinder's only goal is to put me in jail." 

The SAD leader further said that the Congress wanted to take control of the Sikh shrines in the state.

"A person who is CM should keep himself away from such things," he added.

However, if there were any shortcomings in the probe of sacrilege incidents by the SAD-BJP combine government, then I apologise for it, Badal said further.

On February 18, the SIT probing the police firing at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura on anti-sacrilege protesters, had arrested Inspector General Paramraj Singh Umranangal on the basis of evidence that he was in command and the procedure adopted to open fire was not correct.

Two persons were killed in the police firing in Behbal Kalan of Faridkot district.

The SIT set up to probe the case had last month arrested former Moga district police chief SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma who led a police party that allegedly opened fire at the anti-sacrilege protesters.

Sharma's arrest was the first in the case after SIT was formed last year after his name was added along with other police officers in an FIR registered at the Baja Khana Police Station in Faridkot for murder and attempt to murder.

Their names were added on recommendations of the Ranjit Singh commission report.

The state government had formed a five-member SIT, headed by Prabodh Kumar, Director, Bureau of Investigations (BOI), to probe sacrilege and related police firing incidents.              [Agencies]