Police arrested Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik on Monday in Srinagar to foil separatists’ march towards the Army headquarters to protest against the killing of seven civilians during the Pulwama operation on Saturday.Mr. Malik, who had gone underground, was detained by a team of policemen when the separatist and his supporters alighted near Srinagar’s Gaw Kadal area and started a march towards the Badamibagh area. The area houses the headquarters of the Army’s 15 Corps and is just seven km away from the spot. Mr. Malik and his supporters were wearing white dresses with a slogan: “Kill us all.”Mirwaiz condemnsIn a separate crackdown, the police arrested the Mirwaiz outside his residence at Srinagar’s Naseembagh. “It is preposterous to brand civilians as overground workers and terrorists. The Government of India has overplayed the terrorist, Pakistan proxy and instigators card. The world sees ever growing graph of atrocities and massacres of Kashmiris, who are only asking for a just and peaceful resolution of the dispute,” said the Mirwaiz.Syed Ali Geelani, chairman of a Hurriyat faction, was also placed under house arrest.In Jammu, Peoples Democratic Party leaders, including Yawar Mir, Firdous Tak and Aijaz Mir, held a demonstration inside the Civil Secretariat and demanded an “end to the bloodshed.”Roads sealedThe authorities sealed all the roads leading to the Army headquarters and imposed restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles in the old city and south Kashmir’s Pulwama, in the wake of the separatists’ call.The shutdown affected the life for third consecutive day on Monday in the Valley. Tension surged after three militants and seven civilians were left dead in the Army operation in Pulwama on Saturday.Police’s claimLocals alleged civilians were killed hours after the operation was called off and “were targeted deliberately during clashes.” The police said the “mob came dangerously close” to the security forces engaged in the operation near the encounter site. It was the highest civilian casualties near an encounter site this year.The State Human Rights Commission has asked the security agencies to submit “a factual report on Pulwama incident.”
Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann was on Wednesday reappointed chief of the Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab unit.Mr. Mann had resigned from the post last year in protest against AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to former Shiromani Akali Dal Minister Bikram Singh Majithia for alleging his involvement in the rampant illegal drugs business in the State.Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and in-charge of party’s affairs in Punjab Manish Sisodia, who was also present on the occasion, said that health, employment, education and farmers’ concerns were the real issues and AAP was working to bring them into the national discourse.“People across the country see AAP as a movement and a party which is working towards elimination of corruption from politics. They [people] have high hopes from the party,” he said.Mr. Mann expressed his gratitude to the party for reposing its faith in him and accused Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the Badals of the Shiromani Akali Dal of being hand in glove with one another.“Capt. Amarinder had backed out on the poll promises that were made to the people ahead of the last Assembly elections. The people of Punjab are sick of the subsequent anti-people governments and see AAP as the only hope on the vast political horizon,” he said.Mr. Mann said that the Punjab AAP would reach out to the remotest village and every household across the State with the Delhi model of governance.
“If you believe in yourself, then anything can happen,” she said. “But of course semis is, ‘Wow.’”She’s the first Belgian since Kim Clijsters in 2012 to reach the semifinals in Australia, and knew she had plenty of support at home.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Kim, thanks for watching, I knew you sent me a message before the match — don’t be too stressy,” said Mertens, who trains at Clijsters’ academy. “I’m trying to be in your footsteps this week.”The No. 37-ranked Mertens successfully defended her Hobart International title — she decided last year to target that title instead of entering Open qualifying — two weeks ago, and has now won five matches at Melbourne Park. 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His fine of $45,000 nearly equals his first-round prize money of 60,000 Australian dollars ($47,900).Zverev’s fine was the largest ever assessed to a player for an on-site Grand Slam offense. Other players have been fined larger amounts following a Grand Slam tournament, such as Serena Williams’ $82,500 fine in 2009 for her tirade at a U.S. Open line judge.Italian player Fabio Fognini was fined $96,000 last year after insulting a chair umpire at the U.S. Open, an amount that could be reduced to $48,000 if he doesn’t have any further offences over the next two years.The new rule came in response to a rash of first-round retirements at Wimbledon last year. View comments 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Mertens dominated against Svitolina, who also entered her first quarterfinal in Australia on a nine-match winning roll after winning the Brisbane International two week ago.Svitolina had won their only previous tour-level match, but had no answers on Rod Laver Arena and later said hip trouble had been bothering her all year.“She played great from the beginning of the year,” Svitolina said. “But, you know, when I give her opportunities to play and to play a good level, then of course she’s going to play. She’s going to go for shots.“Now she’s in semifinal. Now she’s not just a player that’s up and down. She’s quite consistent, and we can see this.”Mertens raced out to a 5-2 in the first set before Svitolina got her only service break. The second set was no contest. Mertens won a 27-point rally while holding serve in the fourth game, then hit a backhand winner into the open corner to break Svitolina in the next game for a 5-0 lead.ADVERTISEMENT Belgium’s Elise Mertens celebrates after defeating Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina in their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)MELBOURNE, Australia — A year after opting out of qualifying for the Australian Open, Elise Mertens has reached the semifinals in her debut at the season-opening Grand Slam.Mertens upset fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-0 on Tuesday to extend her winning streak to 10 matches and be the first woman through to the semifinals at Melbourne Park.ADVERTISEMENT NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers