As fresh ceasefire violation by Pakistan left a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan dead in Jammu, the situation in Kashmir remained tense in the wake of killing of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Ismail and his associate in an encounter.A BSF spokesman said Constable Bijender Bahadur was fired upon from Pakistani side around 12:20 a.m on the International Border in Jammu’s Arnia Sector.“Mr. Bahadur was on the duty at forward point along the fence when he sustained a bullet injury on left side of abdomen. He later succumbed,” said the BSF spokesman.Following the incident, the BSF said intermittent fire continued from both sides till morning, including mortar fire.A wreath laying ceremony was held for the slain constable, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, at the BSF headquarter in Paloura.Kashmir tenseIn the wake of killing of Pakistani militant Ismail, most schools and colleges in several Valley districts were closed as restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar city to thwart any protests after Friday prayers.There were prohibitory orders under the police stations of Khanyar, Rainawari, Nowhatta, M.R. Gunj and Safa Kadal.No traffic was allowed. Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid were also disallowed. Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who leads the prayers there, was placed under house arrest.Train service also remained suspended across Kashmir Valley.Meanwhile, the bodies of Ismail, mastermind behind the July 10 attack on Amarnath pilgrims, and his Pakistani associate Chota Qasim were laid to rest in a graveyard located in Baramulla’s sparsely populated hillside.The killings sparked sporadic protests in south Kashmir as protesters held funeral prayers in absentia for the slain militants.A protest was also held in Kashmir University, where all exams being held on Friday were postponed.Encounter video goes viralA purported video of the Nowgam encounter, where these two militants were killed, went viral online on Friday.The video, wherein security personnel allegedly were placing feet on the bodies and pose for pictures, was also stopped by Facebook, according to the netizens.The Army has taken “cognizance of the video”.“The trampling of the bodies by the forces is condemnable. Only rogue forces disrespect the bodies,” said Dukhataran-e-Millat spokesman Nasreen.Meanwhile, separatists and militant conglomerate United Jehad Council (UJC) paid tributes to the slain militants.
The RuTAG had earlier provided technical assistance for upgradation of kilns in which clay griddles are baked and modified the product’s design and thickness to suit the requirement of gas stoves and heaters in the cities. The earthy scent of the black soil, procured mostly from ponds in Bharatpur district, is maintained in the griddles after they are baked.Clay pottery is both a traditional occupation and the only livelihood option for the Prajapat community, also known as Kumhars, in the region. The demand for earthenware has soared among the health-conscious people residing in cities, who believe that the nutrients of food items are protected when cooked in earthen utensils. The traditional potters belonging to the Prajapat community in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district are being given technical training which is expected to help them hone their skills in their occupation.An ongoing tech-aided camp in Pahari town is training the youths in making earthen pots as well as terracotta decorative items which are in heavy demand in the southern States.The camp, being attended by two dozen Prajapat youths, will enable them make rapid strides in manufacturing cups, cutlery, mugs, pans, clay griddles, dishes, bowls and cookers.Master trainer Moti Lal, who learnt the technical applications at IIT Delhi’s Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG), told The Hindu on Tuesday that the use of electric motors for the spinning of the potter’s wheel, innovative design interventions and new baking techniques would facilitate bulk production of earthenware quickly.Bharatpur-based Lupin Foundation has joined hands with RuTAG to provide technical assistance to the potters.Mr. Lal, 52, said the Prajapat community hoped that the government bodies, such as the Khadi & Village Industries Commission, would provide mechanised potter’s wheels in remote villages.Lupin Foundation’s executive director Sita Ram Gupta said that while the training would help promote pottery industry, the earthenware produced in the district would be sent to various fairs and exhibitions across the country and also sold online with the help of web portals operating from Jaipur. “The training will connect traditional artisans with modern technology and help increase their income,” he said.