<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir cabinet on Wednesday approved the draft of the address, to be delivered by Governor N N Vohra, to the joint sitting of the State legislature on January 2 next year.The cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, approved the draft of the address, to be delivered by the Governor to the joint sitting of the State legislature on January 2, 2017, an official spokesman said.Legislative Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta issued the provisional calendar for the fourth Session of the 12th Legislative Assembly.As per the provisional calendar, starting from January 2, with the Governor’s address to Legislature, the House sittings would continue till February 4, 2017.According to the calendar discussion on motion of thanks on the Governor’s address and reply thereto will be held on January 3 and 4.The annual financial statement of expenditure for 2017-2018 and presentation of supplementary statement of expenditure for 2016-2017 will be held on January 9, 2017.The general discussion on budget will be held on January 10 and 11 ending with reply thereto.As per the calendar, the demand for grants for various departments would be taken up from January 12 to January 27 and the Appropriation Bills will be taken up on January 28.There shall be government business on January 30.Private members resolutions will be taken up on January 31 and February 2 and private members bills on February 1 and February 3.There will be government business on February 4, if any, the calendar issued read.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti said on Tuesday the political process and governance in the state have to be carried out simultaneously and asked her party workers to play their role in creating a congenial atmosphere for that. “It has been the biggest success of our party to convince the stakeholders that the political process and governance in Jammu and Kashmir have to be carried out together.”When the party was voted to power in 2002, it not only carried forward its development agenda, but the political process in the state took off, resulting in initiation of dialogue and many major state-specific confidence building measures,” she told a gathering of PDP workers in Srinagar. The chief minister expressed regret that the state had to undergo a “political drought” after the PDP demitted office in 2005 and the whole process had to be “restarted from zero” in 2015 when her father and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took over the reins again.”This was the biggest reason for the party to form the government in the state (with the BJP) so as to get the people out of the uncertainty which loomed large over them due to the political drought. “In fact, much of the reason for the recent turmoil in the Valley lies in the fact that political engagement was discontinued after 2005 and no more state-specific confidence building measures took place afterwards,” said Mehbooba.The PDP president said when the party took over last year, “everything had to be started afresh”. “Development and dialogue were made prominent components of the Agenda of Alliance (PDP’s common minimum programme with the BJP) and the government had just started to roll out its agenda.”However, certain elements inimical to peace and development in the state worked to derail the process. The whole process got stuck due to the turmoil of the last five months during which not only the government, but every section of the society in Kashmir got affected and bruised,” she said.Mehbooba said though the delay in carrying forward the development process would be compensated, the lives lost and the setback the state’s political process received were “irreparable”. She asked the party workers to make people aware of the “nefarious designs” of these “vested elements” who were only interested in “death and destruction in the state”.The chief minister asked the people to help her maintain peace in the state so that besides development, dialogue with all the stakeholders, opening of routes, more relief to the people and other state-specific measures could be undertaken.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asking people of Jammu and Kashmir to “give peace a chance”, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said it was imperative for dialogue and development and would have a “soothing impact” on India-Pakistan relations.”For achieving the objective of development and dialogue, a congenial atmosphere of peace and tranquility needs to be created. I seek people’s cooperation in creating an environment conducive for development and dialogue,” Mehbooba said while interacting with people after kick-starting various developmental projects in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district yesterday.”The chief minister said her government would work on the twin objectives of development and dialogue and asked the people of the state “to give peace a chance”. The people of J-K have a huge responsibility to ensure a congenial and peaceful atmosphere in the state so that it has a soothing impact on the relations between the two neighbouring countries (India and Pakistan) which ultimately can pave the way for getting the state out of its difficulties,” Mehbooba said.She regretted that every section of society suffered losses during the turmoil of past few months which also delayed the completion of many developmental projects in the state.The Chief Minister said the government has planned a major developmental programme for the state and asked the people to extend their cooperation for its successful implementation.Addressing the students after inaugurating the new building of the Government Women’s College, Pulwama, the Chief Minister said empowerment of women is key to development of the state.She asked the girls to focus on education as it has the potential to bring about the desired social change. Mehbooba said women hold an important place in society and their empowerment would signal a positive turnaround. She asked the students to attain different skills “so that they are not only educated but empowered as well”.
Srinagar: The year 2016 saw Mehbooba Mufti taking over as the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Army for the first time carrying out surgical strikes on militant camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) while violent protests for months hit hard normal life and resulted in shutdown of schools and death of 86 people.
The government had also to grapple with the NIT unrest, mysterious school burning incidents and blinding due to pellet gun firing issues.
The only silver lining during all this mayhem was that the annual Amarnath yatra to south Kashmir Himalayas went on, though with some interruptions due to authorities’ stopping the pilgrims from travelling during day to avoid any casualties.
In fact, local residents of Bijbehara town defied curfew to help a group of Amarnath pilgrims to hospital after their vehicle met with an accident.
7 January – Mufti Mohammad Sayeed passes away
The year, however, started with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who had cobbled up an unimaginable coalition government between his PDP and the BJP a year earlier, losing his battle against illness at AIIMS in Delhi on 7 January.
Following Saeed’s death, a smooth transition of power was expected to his daughter and political heir Mehbooba Mufti but the PDP president refused to take charge for over two and half months. As the days passed, it seemed increasingly difficult for the two parties to come together again with the PDP setting some conditions like initiation of the confidence building measures by the Centre.
4 April – Mehbooba sworn in as first woman CM of Jammu and Kashmir
Finally, Mehbooba was sworn in as the first woman chief minister of the state on 4 April.
No sooner had she assumed office, Mehbooba faced her first real test. An unrest began at NIT Srinagar where students from outside the Valley were accused of beating local students following a tiff over an India-Pakistan cricket match.
However, the outside students alleged they were tortured by police inside the campus, sparking off a massive crisis that hogged national headlines for several days. The authorities had to shut down the institute for some time to allow the frayed tempers to cool down.
The NIT dust was yet to settle down when Mehbooba’s government faced with two more controversies. The reported plans to set up Sainik colonies and exclusive colonies for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley drew severe criticism from mainstream Opposition parties as well as separatist groups, which threatened to launch an agitation over these issues.
The government on several occasions, including during the Budget Session of the assembly, stated that it had no such plans.
8 July – Burhan Wani encounter
As it appeared that the worst was over for the PDP-BJP government, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani — who had become the poster boy of militancy in Kashmir — was killed in an encounter with security forces on 8 July.
As the news of his death spread, there was an unprecedented outpour of outrage on the streets of the Valley as rumours were abound that the 21-year-old militant was killed when he was unarmed. The security forces dismissed the allegations.
However, violent street protests and clashes between protestors and security forces across the Valley over the next several months left 86 people dead and hundreds — including 5000 security forces personnel — injured.
For the first time in the past 26 years of turmoil in Kashmir, over 300 people were blinded as security forces fired pellet guns to quell the protests, leading to calls from various quarters to ban its use.
Authorities imposed curfew across Kashmir valley, snapped mobile and Internet services, banned newspapers for three days and took several news channels off air in an attempt to end the street violence but protests continued unabated.
The separatists, sensing an opportunity, jumped in and started issuing weekly agitation calendars as they did in 2010.
Almost all separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik were either arrested or put under house arrest. More than 8000 people were also arrested on the charges of stone-pelting or incitement to violence.
Curfew and shutdowns brought life in Kashmir valley to a standstill as schools remained closed, businesses shut and transport off the roads.
18 September – Surgical Strikes
The deadly attack at Uri, close to Line of Control, on 18 September prompted perhaps the strongest peacetime reaction from the armed forces against the militants.
As many as 19 soldiers were killed at Uri before the Army eliminated the four intruders, who had crossed the LoC just a day before launching the attack.
The special forces crossing the LoC into PoK and destroying several militant camps in which over 40 ultras and their sympathisers were killed was a departure from the traditional policy of exercising restraint after every ceasefire violation or an attack on security installation.
As the Valley was going through its worst unrest in 26 years, there was an increase in hostilities along the LoC between armies of India and Pakistan. Both sides accused each other of violating the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir along the LoC and the international border.
The surgical strike led to more skirmishes and exchange or artillery fire between the two sides till November, leading to fears among people here of outbreak of full blown war between the two countries.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Valley several times to assess the situation. In the month of September, Singh led an all-party delegation of national parties in an attempt to reach out to all sections of the society to end the street protests.
A splinter group of delegation including Sitaram Yechury and Assadudin Owaisi tried to meet the separatist leaders including Geelani but they shut their doors on them saying the visitors did not have the mandate to resolve Kashmir issue.
Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha led a delegation of “concerned citizens of India” and met people from all sections of the society here. This time separatists met them and conveyed their viewpoint.
Curfew was lifted after the visit of the all-party delegation from many parts of Kashmir but the shutdown continued with no end in sight.
The shutdown not only affected the livelihood of the masses but also put a question mark on the future of the students.
The government announced that board examinations will be held in November but promised to make it easy for the students. The examinations were held in November with thousands of students appearing and the government keeping its word by giving 50 per cent relaxation in the syllabus.
While the unrest is dying out, the educational infrastructure suffered massive damage in the Valley as more than 32 schools were gutted in mysterious fire incidents.
The frequency of burning of schools prompted the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to take suo moto cognisance and initiate PIL proceedings, directing the state government to take steps for ensuring safety of the school buildings.
First Published On : Dec 26, 2016 11:22 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ending suspense, Mehbooba Mufti led government in Jammu and Kashmir has decided to lift the three month old ban on one of the most respected English dailies `The Kashmir Reader.The daily was banned on October 2 after district magistrate Srinagar Farooq Ahmad Lone invoked section 144 of CrPC, Section 3 of Newspapers Incitement of Offences Act 1971 and Section 10 Press and Publication Act of 1989.In his order, the district magistrate had called the newspaper threat to the public tranquility and noted that it contains material and content which tends to “incite acts of violence and disturb public peace and tranquility”.Director Information Dr Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary told DNA that formal orders will be issued in a day or two. “The government has considered their representation and other material record and taken a view that there is no need for further ban. We will allow its publication. Former order is under process and that will be issued in a day or two”, he said.HIlal Mir, Editor of the Kashmir Reader, told DNA that director Information has spoken to their bureau chief about this issue. “He spoke to our bureau chief and said we can resume our publication”, said Mir.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Describing tourism as the best mean to promote people-to-people engagement, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said her government was making efforts to create a world-class tourist infrastructure.”Tourism promotes people-to-people contact and tourists become goodwill ambassadors of a place. Like the maxim ‘seeing is believing’, a tourist can testify the veracity of the claim about a place only after visiting it,” she said.She dismissed the notion that the state was unsafe for tourists in the aftermath of months-long unrest in the Valley. “Jammu and Kashmir is as safe for tourists, particularly women, as any other place in the country,” she said here at an meeting with a delegation of tour operators from across India.Mehbooba said her government plans to create a world-class tourism infrastructure in the state.”Road connectivity to tourist destinations, bed capacity at tourist spots, wayside facilities etc are being improved and upgraded to address the requirements of every segment of tourists. Theme-based parks and places are being added to provide variety of attraction to tourists.”Similarly, heritage lovers and trekkers would be having more spots and treks to visit by adding new heritage sites and routes to their check list,” the chief minister said.Every region in the state has a unique attraction for tourists and they should be promoted, she said.The state’s tourism department has organised a three-day familiarisation tour to the Valley for travel agents from Bangalore, Mumbai, Gujarat and Indore.The agents, who arrived here yesterday, pitched for point- to-point rail services from Mumbai, Gujarat and Kolkata to the Valley to facilitate the travel of tourists to Kashmir, and sought subsidy in aviation fuel charges to bring down air fares.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Militants sent a chilling reminder to the Mehbooba Mufti-led government on Saturday when they attacked an Army convoy on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu National Highway at Kadlabal, Pampore, in south Kashmir, leaving at least three army men dead.The attack follows the killing of the north and south chiefs of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) 10 days ago.The incident occurred at Kadlabal-Pampore between 3 and 3.15 pm when the convoy was on its way from Jammu to Srinagar. Militants fired indiscriminately on the convoy before escaping through the maze of lanes and by-lanes in the area.Three soldiers were injured in the incident. They succumbed to the injuries later. Security forces immediately retaliated and tried to chase the militants away, but to no avail. However, they recovered a magazine of a gun from a nearby lane. The entire area was cordoned off and massive search operations have been launched to track down the militants.Army and security forces retaliated and the terrorists were forced to runaway. “The area was crowded, so we could not fire openly. We always remain alert on the National Highway,” said Zulfikar Hassan, Inspector-General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), operations.Panic gripped the area after the firing, with people running helter-skelter.”I was parking my vehicle when I heard the gunshots. When I came out, I saw people running helter-skelter. Later on, the Army came in and started search operations,” said a local resident of Kadlabal.Police said the militants came in a minibus to attack the convoy on the highway. “Militants came in a minibus and fled in the same vehicle after attacking the convoy”, said Dr SP Vaid, Special Director General of Police (law and order).Sources said an internal report prepared by another security agency suggested that two militants on a bike started chasing the army bus in the general area Pampore. Near Kadlabal Chowk the bus slowed down a little and the bike rider applied break to stop but the bike skidded. Then the pillion rider got down and ran towards the bus. He was carrying two weapons. He fired both on the bus from the side purposely keeping fire above glass level. With the result three soldiers died, sources said.This is the second major attack after the November 29 Nagrota terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. On November 29, a group of heavily armed fidayeens (suicide bombers) donning police uniforms stormed into in the highly fortified camp of 166 field regiment and killed seven soldiers, including two majors, at Nagrota on the Jammu-Srinagar highway,Three militants were later neutralised in the day-long gunfight. Sixteen hostages, including two soldiers, two women and two children, were rescued.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upping the ante on the Mehbooba Mufti government for announcing an ex-gratia payment to Burhan Wani’s brother Khalid Wani, social activist Ashoke Pandit on Wednesday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention into the matter.”I as a citizen of this country make an appeal to our Prime Minister that he should intervene in this matter and see to it that this mistake is rectified, because the signal which we are giving to the neighbouring country is to send your terrorist and we will take care of them?,” he said here adding that the decision is dangerous step.The Mehbooba Mufti government had earlier on Tuesday sanctioned ex-gratia compensation to slain terrorist Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s father in the case of killing of his other son, Khalid Wani.”Compensation to a family of a terrorist, who has killed people and raped women and who has been busy with anti-national activities, nothing can be sad and dark than this. I am amazed and shocked that what the family of a security forces must be feeling. Probably we have made a mistake by not picking up the guns. If terrorist is being given compensation then I think things are going on very wrong track,” he said.Questioning the motive behind state government’s decision, he further said, “We should not be shocked the way things are going. Tomorrow the next compensation will be given to Hafiz Saeed, Yakub Memon family. This hypocrisy and entire mindset of state government is absolutely questionable.”According to a notification issued on Monday by the deputy commissioner of Pulwama, ex-gratia relief under rules were cleared by the district-level screening-cum-consultative committee (DLSCC) in favour of next of kin of those persons who died in militancy-related incidents.As per report, the ex-gratia relief entitles a victim’s family to a payment of Rs four lakh or employment for a member of the family.Burhan had left home at the age of 15 in October 2010 to join the Hizbul Mujahideen, while his brother Khalid lived in Tral in Pulwama with his family.Twenty five-year-old Khalid was pursuing a Masters in political science from IGNOU, reportedly told his mother on the afternoon of April 13, 2015 that he was going for a picnic. However, his body was found in the nearby jungle hours later.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday slammed National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah for his remarks that his party is not against separatist Hurriyat, saying it showed that the Opposition party was behind the violence in the Valley over last few months.She alleged that NC wants to keep the atmosphere charged in the Valley as it “can go to any extent for power”. “He (Abdullah) used to say that Hurriyat leaders should be thrown into river Jhelum. Today he is talking about something else. It again makes it clear that NC will play with the lives of anyone, including children and women, for power,” Mehbooba told reporters here. “The statement of Farooq telling his party workers to lend full support to Hurriyat makes clear one thing which we did not mention till now that NC can go to any extent for power,” she said.The chief minister said NC can play with the lives of anyone including children and women, for power. “In the last four-five months, the criminal element which entered into the situation here, who pelted stones on vehicles, burnt schools and attacked camps… this statement makes it clear that NC was involved in such activities in these months,” she charged. The Chief Minister said NC leadership has asked its party workers to not let the situation improve.
ALSO READ We are with Hurriyat till they are on right track: Farooq Abdullah”Now when the situation is improving, children are going to school and tourism is also picking up slowly, Farooq has once again asked his workers, giving them an order, to create that situation once again in which the atmosphere in J&K will remain charged,” she said. Abdullah, while addressing his party workers at a function to commemorate the 111th birth anniversary of his father and party founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah at Hazratbal yesterday, had said his party was not against the Hurriyat and supported the Kashmiri’s demand for their rights but it would not tread the “wrong path” for achieving these goals.He had also asked his party workers not to be away from “this struggle” because “We are a part of this struggle. We have fought regularly for the interests of this Valley.” Mehbooba said Abdullah is not concerned about the struggle because since 1947 till now, NC has only struggled for power. “Even today I feel that, by the statement yesterday, he has hinted at his workers to not let the situation improve because they want power at any cost,” she alleged.She noted that Abdullah’s son Omar has been a Minister (of state) for External Affairs in the BJP-led government and had said that Pakistan should be labelled as a terror state. Farooq Abdullah also regularly used to say that Pakistan should be bombed, Mehbooba said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has agreed with former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah view that Pakistan can’t be blamed for the unrest in the Kashmir Valley, saying that people like him need to be listened to with bit more understanding.”I think we need to listen to people like Omar Abdullah with little bit of understanding, setting aside some of the phrases which have been used by him. What is the essence of his statement; that we should not stop the conversation process in the valley and should continue engaging. And that was the mandate of the all party delegation,” RJD leader Manoj Jha.Jha asserted that no major political party has ever deferred from the position of the security establishment and alleged that the Centre and the state government of blocking the dialogue process with the people of the Kashmir Valley.”If you don?t talk to the people in the valley, then how will you resolve this issue? Pakistan is a kind of menace we have been fighting and, I think, governments prior to the present regime have fought much more vehemently without making much noise,” Jha said.Abdullah on Saturday had criticised the Centre for failing to take concrete measures to curb the unrest in Kashmir post the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani and said that it would be a “grave mistake” to always blame Pakistan and turning a blind eye to internal issues.”Simply blaming Pakistan for the present situation, then, it would mean that we don’t have to do anything to prevent the unrest, which I think would be a grave mistake. We need to have talks internally, we need to solve this political crisis and until we are conscious of this reality, I don’t think we can take any concrete action,” Omar told reporters here.Omar’s remarks came days after he reprimanded incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for the prolonged unrest in Kashmir and asked the latter to take responsibility for the same.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has said the state can show the way in de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan as developments in state have an impact on the relations between the two neighbouring countries.”People of Jammu and Kashmir have important role minimising hostilities between the two neighbouring countries and appealed people to create a congenial atmosphere for dialogue by ensuring peace and tranquillity in the State,” she said at a function in Chrar-e-Sharif in Budgam district.Referring to the developments of past five months in the State, Mehbooba said the people have suffered hugely, including the people living along the borders and the Line of Control.She said the events have proven the futility of using violence to get heard and additionally the developmental activities slated for the season in Kashmir could not be taken up.The Chief Minister said holistic development of the State and carrying forward the dialogue process, are already included in the priorities of her government.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday criticised the Centre for failing to take concrete measures to curb the unrest in Kashmir post the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani and said that it would be a ‘grave mistake’ to always blame Pakistan and turning a blind eye to internal issues. ‘Simply blaming Pakistan for the present situation, then, it would mean that we don’t have to do anything to prevent the unrest, which I think would be a grave mistake. We need to have talks internally, we need to solve this political crisis and until we are conscious of this reality, I don’t think we can take any concrete action,’ Omar told reporters here. Omar’s remarks came days after he reprimanded incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for the prolonged unrest in Kashmir and asked the latter to take responsibility for the same. ‘Mehbooba Mufti blamed me for 2010 situation (unrest), I accept the blame. Will she accept the blame for 2016′” said Abdullah. Normal life across the Kashmir Valley was disrupted yet again yesterday after the separatists called for strikes against the ruling dispensation in the state.The separatists are spearheading this agitation against the killing of Wani who was gunned down on July 8 by security forces in southern Kashmir. The present unrest has claimed more than 86 people, including two cops and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. More than 5000 security personnel have also been injured in the clashes.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Facing five-month-old unrest in the valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday impressed upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach out to the people there by initiating confidence-building measures (CBMs) as she met him in New Delhi.During the meeting in Parliament House complex, she briefed Modi on the latest situation in Kashmir Valley which has been witnessing trouble since July, sources said. Mehbooba, who is heading a PDP-BJP coalition government, underlined the need for reaching out to the people of the state and in this regard urged the Prime Minister to initiate state-specific CBMs, they said. The Prime Minister was supportive of her views, they added.Later speaking to reporters, the Chief Minister said the situation in Kashmir is improving. “I discussed (with PM) how we can apply balm to the wounds of the people of Kashmir and talked about keeping a peaceful environment in the valley,” she said.”The situation (in Kashmir) is improving gradually. I am happy that the students sat for the exams despite all this hardship. I congratulate the parents for this,” she added. She said people of the country should visit Kashmir and allow the people to Kashmir to welcome them and provide them their services. Kashmir has been witnessing unrest since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.Though stone-pelting incidents and other such forms of violence have stopped, normal life continues to be disrupted in the valley because of the continuous shutdown sponsored by the separatists. The strike, which has been going on for last five months, has been further extended till December 1.To questions on demonetization, Mehbooba hailed the decision, saying it will benefit the country. “I congratulated the Prime Minister for the decision of demonetization. This is not an ordinary decision,” she said, adding “All those who have illegal money, fake currency have been hit by this move.”The Chief Minister said the people will face difficulties for some time. “Whenever there is any drastic decision, some kinds of inconvenience are caused for some time but I believe it will prove historic for the nation,” she added. Contending that demonetization move will lead to the improvement in development for the country, she said, “There was no development for the last 70 years. No proper infrastructure, hospital, roads, water etc. In the coming days the improvement of the country will be speedy because of Prime Minister’s decision.”
Sat, 26 Nov 2016-08:35pm , Jammu , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief over the death of three persons and gutting of around 80 hutments in Narwal area of Jammu city on Saturday.The Chief Minister expressed heartfelt sympathies with the families of three persons who were charred to death in the tragic fire incident, officials said. She has directed the divisional administration to extend all humanitarian assistance to the affected families at the earliest, they said.Opposition National Conference leaders and former chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah too expressed grief over the incident. Describing as “most unfortunate” deaths, the two leaders conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family and expressed solidarity with all those whose dwelling units were gutted in the fire.
ALSO READ J&K: Fire in Narwal kills 4, 80 slums guttedThree persons were charred to death and as many others sustained serious burn injuries when their huts caught fire in Narwal area of Jammu city in wee hours of Saturday. Over four dozen huts were damaged in the fire which was later brought under control by deploying several fire tenders.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has accepted the resignation of Srinagar MP Tariq Hameed Karra, who put in his papers protesting against the “failure” of Parliament to make “any tangible moves” to end violence in Kashmir.Mahajan announced in the House on Thursday that she has accepted the resignation of Karra with effect from October 17.Karra, a founder member of PDP had sent his resignation letter to Speaker on September 23. He had also quit from his party.In the wake of unrest in the Kashmir Valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani, 61-year-old Karra had announced his resignation on September 16, blaming the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir for the turmoil, saying “the seeds of deceit, disillusionment and disenchantment were sown in the minds and hearts of people the day the PDP tied an alliance with the BJP …it was an unnatural alliance.”Karra had said he was forced to take the extreme step to register his “strong protest” against the “unabated killings, grievous injuries and repression and suppression let loose” on the people of Kashmir and the “failure of Parliament”, Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government “to find a way out of this painful situation”.A one time close confidant of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Karra, who had defeated National Conference President Farooq Abdullah in 2014 Lok Sabha polls by a margin of 40,000 votes, had also accused the PDP of “working on the RSS-agenda”.
Srinagar: Stirring the hornet’s nest, the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) said on Sunday that the four months of civilian unrest in Kashmir valley was a conspiracy to dethrone Mehbooba Mufti and her PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir. They also added that who died during the agitation were innocent.
Senior party leader and MP, Muzaffar Hussain Baig said the party will not be cowed down by “nefarious designs aimed at our economic subjugation, degradation of ethics and values”.
“These four months were the most dark and oppressive months. But God is witness that it was a conspiracy against Mehboobaji. It was a conspiracy to defame PDP. They conspired to kill Burhan (Wani). May Allah have maghfirat (for dead) … they took a man’s life to dislodge Mehboobaji,” Baig said while addressing a gathering outside the party headquarters in Srinagar, without naming anyone.
Baig’s comments on the civilian killings in Kashmir over the last four months are in sharp contrast with the position that PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has taken on the issue. She had said that those who died during clashes with security forces “had not gone to buy toffees or milk”.
In a show of strength at a time when Kashmir is reeling under shutdowns and curfew, this was the first ever public rally by the PDP, which has faced criticism from all sides for civilian casualties and failing to contain the agitation following the killing of the Hizbul Mujahideen commander in early July.
The PDP leaders who addressed the gathering underscored the need to push the agenda of peace and development through reconciliation and dialogue. The PDP leaders, once again, tried to impress that if there was ever a prime minister in India who not just enjoyed the mandate of the people but had the capacity and will, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, they said, can address the vexed issue of Kashmir.
“We have not aligned for the sake of chair. We know if there is any Prime Minister who is going to solve the problem of Kashmir, it is Modi. It is our Agenda of Alliance that has kept us intact. If our agenda is bypassed, we will throw this chair on that very same day,” Baig said to a thundering applause.
Sunday’s rally comes at a time when the separatist leadership, spearheading a four month long agitation against New Delhi, is struggling to keep the momentum alive with the vehicular traffic slowly returning to the roads in many parts of capital Srinagar and other towns and villages of Kashmir, despite calls of shutdown by the Hurriyat.
At least 94 people have been killed in 128 days of unrest in the Valley following the killing of Burhan Wani on 8 July. Thousands, including security forces, have been injured in clashes between forces and protesters. According to doctors, over 1,100 protesters suffered injuries in eyes due to pellets. Addressing the gathering, Baig said Kashmir issue will be solved only “by your votes” and not by stone pelting. “Those who have lost their lives were innocent people and they hardly knew what they were doing”.
“PM Modi went without an invitation to Pakistan and sat with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif because he had promised PDP that he would take the dialogue forward. But Pakistan reciprocated by attacking Pathankot. How are cordial relations possible in such atmosphere? But still we believe the dialogue is the only way forward,” he said.
“The two countries can’t prosper until they resolve the Kashmir dispute and it was for this purpose that our party came into being-to resolve this conundrum”.
Taking a dig at Hurriyat Conference, Baig, while pointing towards the flea market which was thronged by hundreds of people on Sunday, said the people have told the Hurriyat that they are not with ‘Hartal politics’. “This is a mazaq (joke). There is no hartal (strike),” he said, pointing towards shoppers in the market.
Earlier, the Hurriyat Conference had hit out at the PDP, terming the party as a “local stooge” of “Indian rulers” whose “hollow slogans of religious freedom, individual liberties and equal rights is nothing but the age old deceitful slogans of the imperialistic mind set which they have been using to fool others.”
The Hurriyat Conference said the “local government has purposefully joined hands with the preachers of Hindutva to implement the Nagpur agenda. They have waged war against the whole community by forcefully preventing people from their prayers.”
The PDP, however, called upon all the stakeholders to focus on political means and through the medium of well-established democratic institutions to “wriggle the state out from the brink of abyss”.
First Published On : Nov 14, 2016 21:37 IST
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The burning of schools in the Kashmir Valley has prompted the Mehbooba Mufti regime to issue orders to teachers to keep watch at night to prevent such events.So far around 27 schools have been torched across the state. Most of these schools have been burnt during at night, and therefore, the state government has ordered schools to produce rosters, so that the employees can take turns keeping a watch on schools at night.Most schools, however, only plan to use chowkidars or non-teaching staff for this exercise, which will supervised by the teachers. “This is a slap from the government on our society. We have been promoted from teacher to chowkidar. Every teacher has to do his/her duty according to the roster. We have no hope with this government,” a resident teacher said.Private schools in the area have opposed this move. However, the all chief educational officers have advised that this is for their own good. However, heads of private institutions say they are burdened with the task of asking teachers and other staff to work nights and protect the schools. The fact that the lives of the staff are also in danger also worries them. Lady staffers have been exempted from doing night duty, which has left school administrations unhappy.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, on Monday, came down heavily on the recent incidences of burning of schools by miscreants in the Valley and asserted that those responsible will not be spared.Mufti also expressed concern over the Indo-Pak relations which are in troubled waters and are directly impacting Jammu and Kashmir and its environment. “When everything started moving in Jammu and Kashmir, some miscreants burnt our schools which impacted our education system. In next one week government will definitely take some steps to punish those who burned our schools, this is worst form of terrorism,” she added.”We are trying to demotivate the children who recently joined militancy and will bring them back to their homes,” Mufti added.The Chief Minister further stressed on the need to solve the longstanding issues between India and Pakistan. “You can change your friends, but you can’t change your neighbours. We have to adopt the ideas of Atal Bihari Vajpayee to tackle Pakistan,” she said.The Centre had last week asked the Mehbooba Mufti-led state government to check such attempts and make efforts for the reopening of schools which have been closed since July 9.Expressing concern over the burning down of schools in the Kashmir Valley, the National Panthers Party (NPP) has called for the imposition of Governor’s rule in the state, claiming that an atmosphere of complete chaos exists and needs to be quelled.Earlier, Shafiq Mir, who was part of the 30-member delegation of an apex body representing 4,000 village panchayats of the state, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and got assurance of taking all steps to pacify the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.On Sunday, a separatists in Kashmir called for a dilemma assembly of all stakeholders on Tuesday to chalk out a ‘future march of action’ with courtesy to a ongoing disturbance in the Valley, while rejecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that growth was a pivotal to a solution.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another school was set on fire in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The flames have been doused, reports ANI.As many as 31 schools and 110 government buildings have been damaged in Kashmir Valley since the current unrest began four months ago.Among the schools, which were set ablaze by unknown persons, 25 were government-run, two private and four were run by trusts or other social organisations, official sources told PTI.Out of the 110 government buildings, 65 were either completely gutted or partially burnt down and 55 were damaged through “other means”.Over the past few months, miscreants burnt down schools across the Valley which is in the grip of unrest following the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.Amid outrage over the issue, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court took suo motu cognisance of this development and asked the state government to take steps to prevent such incidents and “unmask” to culprits.The Centre had also earlier this week asked the Mehbooba Mufti government to check such attempts and make efforts for reopening the schools which have been closed since July 9.With ANI/PTI inputs.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 31 schools and 110 government buildings have been damaged in Kashmir Valley since the current unrest began four months ago.Among the schools, which were set ablaze by unknown persons, 25 were government-run, two private and four were run by trusts or other social organisations, official sources said.Out of the 110 government buildings, 65 were either completely gutted or partially burnt down and 55 were damaged through “other means”.Amid outrage over the issue, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court took suo motu cognisance of this development and asked the state government to take steps to prevent such incidents and “unmask” the culprits.The Centre had also earlier this week asked the Mehbooba Mufti government to check such attempts and make efforts for reopening the schools which have been closed since July 9.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, on Thursday night reviewed the situation arising out of intermittent cross-border firing in the Jammu region, at a high level meeting here.Chief Secretary B R Sharma, Financial Commissioner Planning and Principal Secretary to the CM, B B Vyas, GOC 16 Corps, Lt General A K Sharma, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Pawan Kotwal, IGP Jammu, Danesh Rana and senior officers of BSF, Deputy Commissioners of Jammu, Samba and Kathua besides senior officers of Police were also present in the meeting.The Chief Minister sought details with regard to various arrangements made to attend to the people affected due to cross-border firing and enquired about facilities being provided to them, an official spokesman said.The Divisional Commissioner Jammu apprised the Chief Minister about the number of people including men, women and children from various border villages who have been shifted to the camps established at ITI Campus and other safe areas.She was also informed with regard to various arrangements and facilities being provided at the make-shift camps including food, bedding etc. The Chief Minister instructed the divisional and concerned district administrations to ensure redress of any related issues and to ensure provision of all basic amenities at these camps.The Chief Minister also expressed concern with regard to issues arising out of the ensuing harvesting season. The Chief Minister asked the concerned authorities to look into all such related issues so as to facilitate people in the matter, he said.During the meeting issues related to provision of relief to the affected were also discussed, he said adding that the Chief Minister asked the concerned to expedite the process in all such cases.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yet another school was set ablaze in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Sunday by unknown arsonists. Reports said that Government Higher Secondary School, Kabamarg building was damaged in the inferno.Locals immediately called fire-fighters that brought the blazes under control but not before it damaged major portion of the building, local sources said. So far, over 20 schools have been burnt down in the last two months with the unrest in the Valley having prolonged for more than three months now, majority of them government-run, suffering irreparable damage. The attacks have soared after the state government decided to go ahead with the Class 10 and Class 12 Board exams, scheduled next month, despite calls by students, parents for delaying them due to the ongoing agitation.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had, on Saturday, blamed separatists for using children as cannon fodder by not allowing schools to function in the Valley. “Since last three months, schools are closed in Valley. The government tried to open schools and even a delegation from civil society led by Yashwant Sinha went to meet them (separatists) and requested them that the future of children was getting spoiled and for God’s sake help to let the schools open and the reply came in the form of burning of two schools,” she said. Most educational institutes in the Valley have been non-functional since July 9th, keeping in mind the unrest in Kashmir that entered 114th day on Sunday.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday expressed concern over the plight of border residents and those living in the Valley who have been affected by the nearly four month-long unrest, and hoped peace returns, as she greeted people on eve of Diwali.”I am concerned over the plight of hapless border residents and the people in Kashmir valley who are entangled in an agonising situation. I hope that all the right-thinking people will strive towards making peace a reality in and around Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehbooba said in her greetings on the eve of Diwali.The chief minister said the people of the state have suffered a great deal due to violence and there is a need for peace. “We have suffered too much and too long, let us strive towards healing the wound and bringing peace in the lives of our people and ensure prosperity of our future generations,” she said.Mehbooba expressed hope that the festival of lights would be a harbinger of peace, progress and prosperity for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “On this auspicious occasion I wish and pray that all good values of love, compassion, tolerance, mutual respect and brotherhood become hallmark of our society to take forward the state on the path of progress, prosperity and lasting peace,” she said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>War is not an option to resolve differences and Pakistan should take the initiative to make peace with India as the onus lies on it, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Friday. While pitching for better ties between India and Pakistan, she called for immediate peace on the borders.”I feel that war is not solution to anything and ultimately we have to reconcile with each other and become friends and for which I feel that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi went there but unfortunately Pathankot followed that, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has to bear the brunt of the hostilities between the two sides,” she said.”The situation should improve at an earliest and both the nations should sit together in a civilized manner and for that I feel that Pakistan has to take the initiative,” Mehbooba said.Referring to the cross-border shelling and firing, she said, “We are not seeing this for the first time as we have witnessed several wars between our country and Pakistan. Right from 1947, we have seen the Kargil war in 1999 and wars, ceasefire violations are not going to last for long. Ultimately we have to learn to live with each other.” She said the ongoing cross-border firing has to stop.During the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Pakistan had assured and had worked towards not allowing Pakistan”s soil to be used against India, Mehbooba recalled, adding border ceasefire was also implemented. “The situation has changed and today the people living on borders are being uprooted and seriously injured and our forces personnel are being killed,” the Chief Minister said.
In Kashmir, normalcy has attained a distressing meaning. As the clock strikes five in the evening, people flock marketplaces in droves. The sight at the city centre Lal Chowk in Srinagar is remarkably confounding and soothing at the same time. Within minutes, the barren roads come alive with a mix of cheerful and anxiety-ridden faces. Traffic snarls are a common occurrence. And for a moment, it seems, all is well.
As the sun sets and the darkness of night begins to take over, the abnormal normalcy returns. With shoppers long gone, dogs take control of the roads, chasing the last of the cars exiting Kashmir’s largest marketplace.
No matter how much the state government’s propaganda machinery may try to delude itself, normalcy is far from returning to the Valley. Every day, the police tells people of the number of arrests made to bring normalcy to the Valley. The arrest spree may put a lid on the agitation but it doesn’t address the underlying anger and alienation.
Two incidents will illustrate the new low touched by the present dispensation in controlling the normalcy narrative. One was a much-publicised protest in Lal Chowk against strikes and shutdown. Then, a group of veiled women marched towards Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s residence who was kind enough to come out and meet them, notwithstanding the fact that she hasn’t been able to visit her own constituency in the last three months.
In both cases, “protesters” were carrying placards in their hands, and slogans against the strikes were written on government stationery. It doesn’t take a Pythagoras Theorem to calculate who could have been behind these protests. The agenda of alliance has been put on the back burner. Now, the ruling dispensation is fighting hard to reclaim its lost relevance.
Normalcy returns to Kashmir, not because of Mehbooba Mufti, her coterie of advisers, or because police want it to. It returns because an 87-year-old incarcerated man called Syed Ali Shah Geelani wishes so. While the government is supposedly run by the executive, it is a boy with a stone in his hands who is ruling the roost.
Kashmir has seen a remarkable phase of civilian rage since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in July. This fresh spate of violence has left 94 civilians and two security forces personnel dead, more than 14,000 injured while around 7,000 protesters have been arrested or detained to bring normalcy on the simmering streets.
The politics of normalcy-narrative has even seeped into the press statements issued by the Jammu and Kashmir police. These days, the evening press statement first describes the increasing vehicular traffic plying on the streets followed by the number of “miscreants” arrested in last 24 hours.
“The day witnessed increased vehicular and pedestrian movement across the Srinagar city and most of the towns of the Valley. A constant increase in the number of vendors on the streets of the towns was also noticed,” a police release said on Wednesday.
“Barring a couple of stray incidents of stone pelting, situation across the Valley remained largely normal. In its drive to curb the activities of the trouble mongers involved in various crimes of disrupting the public order in different parts of the Valley, police has arrested 104 such individuals during the past 24 hours,” it added.
Seven thousand Kashmiris are already behind bars. No one knows how many more people are going to be arrested for normalcy to take root. No one, except the police, knows for sure how many people have actually been put behind bars. Unofficially, the figure is more than 13,000. Never before in the history of J&K have so many people been arrested to bring back a lost normalcy.
Meanwhile, a verbal war is going on between the functionaries of the government and the ordinary people on the social media over the annual examinations slated to be held in coming months. While the decision hasn’t gone down well in the society, jolted by nearly four months of strikes and shutdowns, the government is adamant on its stand.
Recently, I asked a shopkeeper in Lal Chowk about how many months would he be able to survive without opening his shop. He replied that along with other shopkeepers, he would prefer to open his shop only when “something happens” on the Kashmir issue which will bring permanent peace.
When is that “something” going to happen? No one knows for sure.
For the moment, people are suffering. There is no sign of retreat. Delhi is not interested in any dialogue process. Mehbooba Mufti has realised this. It is making her the Omar Abdullah of 2010. While Abdullah learnt his lessons the hard way, his successor is following suit. These days, whenever Mehbooba speaks, she creates more problems then she resolves.
Kashmir is undergoing a grand transformation on the ground. The shutdown may ultimately die down and protests may ebb away. But any return of normalcy should not be taken as a sign of normalcy, especially since the signs of fatigue are still hard to find. Following the 8 July encounter of Wani, militancy has spiked dangerously, gun-snatching is an everyday occurrence and attacks on forces have increased too. If the question of Kashmir issue is not addressed, next time, the ferocity of the rage will be greater than the current one.
Srinagar: Pakistan will have to stop cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir for any dialogue with India to be successful, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Friday while underlining that talks were not possible in the prevailing situation which has “deteriorated”.
At the same time, she said she remained hopeful about resumption of talks between India and Pakistan as Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to carry forward Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s policy.
Mehbooba said Pakistan has a huge role in establishing peace in the region and it has to stop supporting the militancy. “This is not a hidden thing that infiltration takes place and encounters happen on borders. Pakistan has a role to see that infiltration does not take place and there is no support to the militancy,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a function to commemorate the Police Martyrs at Zewan, 14 kms from Srinagar.
“When the graph of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir comes down, there would be more opportunities for the two countries to talk. Those talks will then be successful,” she added. Mehbooba recalled that during Vajpayee’s tenure, Pakistan had said it will not allow its land to be used for anti-India activities and there was ceasefire on the borders, militancy was down and there was less infiltration.
“But, unfortunately that process did not move forward,” she said. “Our Prime Minister went there (Pakistan). Now they have to repeat the promise of (then Pakistan President) Pervez Musharraf to not support the militancy in J&K and help in creating a conducive atmosphere for dialogue,” she said.
Noting that Pakistan was itself facing terrorism, Mehbooba said the country has ensure that its soil is not used for anti-India activities. “Thousands of people have been killed there in terror acts in hospitals, markets, schools and colleges,” she said, adding, “if we can create a conducive atmosphere, then a way can be found.”
The Chief Minister emphasised that her state has an interest “as the biggest impact of a tussle between India and Pakistan” is on it. “Unfortunately, the situation has deteriorated over the
last few months and to talk about dialogue in such a situation is not possible, she said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is not permanent in Jammu and Kashmir, adding the same can be revoked provided an environment of peace and tranquility is created.Speaking at the Police Commemoration Day parade, Mufti said, “We have to create an environment of peace and tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir, AFSPA is not permanent.”Speaking over the outrage which enveloped the Kashmir valley post the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, Mufti urged for a need to stop militancy.”I want to ban pellet guns but it is possible only if you people support the government. Our children are always used as shields. We can’t force someone to talk by throwing stones on them. If we need a dialogue, we have to stop militancy,” she said.Mehbooba further took on Pakistan over its move to ban Indian content in its territory and said, “Even Pakistan has to help us as we both have to live together. We discuss about films but Wagah border is still moving.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) court has come down heavily on the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for sending two children of an arrested woman to a state-run children’s home in Mankhurd, despite the woman asking the NCB to send them home with her family.To make matters worse, the lawyer defending the accused woman has contended that the NCB was using the children as ‘bait to trap’ the woman’s husband who is also an absconding accused in the case.It all started in August 2016 when the woman, a Kashmir resident named Mehbooba Alam Dhar, was arrested at Borivali station after she alighted from a train with 40 kilograms of charas in her possession. Dhar’s children, aged nine and 12 years, were with her at the time of arrest. Another lady named Mehroon was also arrested.The court also flayed NCB for acting ‘harshly’ against the kids, who had nothing to do with the intercepted contraband.The NCB arrested both women, while the kids were sent to the children’s home in Mankhurd. The mother, however, had requested the officers to hand over the kids to her family members, either to her nephew or her father-in-law, who would take the kids back to Kashmir. The officials did not pay heed to the mother’s plea.Advocate Ayaz Khan, who was appearing as a defence counsel for Dhar, had filed the application pleading the court to release the kids.The application was opposed by the prosecution on the grounds that the offence under which the lady was arrested was of a serious nature. “Minors have been kept in children’s care home. The children had to be handed over only to their father as per the provisions of the Guardianship act. The minors cannot be handed over to the accused’s nephew or her father-in-law,” said the prosecution.The defence, however, said the move of the prosecution was a honey trap which they used to nab the kids’ father. The defence said the father is also an alleged accused in the case and is absconding, thus, the agency was ‘misusing’ the children to meet their interests.The court, after hearing both arguments, held, “The court has made an enquiry with the minor children and they have shown their willingness to go along with the nephew. There is no dispute about the custody of the minor children. The state cannot keep them in the children’s home when relatives are ready to take care of the children. According to the accused, the father of the children will be arrested by the police and just because they want to arrest the father, it is not proper to keep the children in children care home, thus ordering the state to immediately release the kids.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP-AAP war of words on cross-LOC surgical strikes on Thursday intensified as the Arvind Kejriwal-led party accused Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar of “demeaning” the armed forces and threatened to file a police complaint against him.Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra called Parrikar “Shah Rangeela”, the Mughal Emperor who it is claimed indulged in merrymaking instead of paying attention to his empire, and said while a high alert has been issued across the country, the Defence Minister was busy “celebrating over the corpses of martyred soldiers”. It also lashed out Parrikar for his remarks comparing the army to Hanuman.On October 1, at an event in Dehradun, Parrikar had made a reference to the Ramayana in which the monkey god crossed an ocean in a single stride after he was reminded about his extraordinary powers by Jamwant.”Indian troops were like Hanuman who did not quite know their prowess before the surgical strikes,” Parrikar had said.Addressing a news conference, senior party leader Sanjay Singh said by giving such a statement, Parrikar was insulting the army which has time and again proved itself and did a remarkable job in the 1948, 1965, 1971 and Kargil war with Pakistan.The AAP said it will approach the police to file a compliant against Parrikar in the matter. Its attack came on a day Parrikar questioned the “loyalty” of those who doubted the Army and sought proof of surgical strikes across the LoC.BJP had earlier accused AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal of seeking proof in the garb of his statement congratulating the PM and army on the surgical strike. AAP also alleged that BJP was doing politics over surgical strikes and claimed that such a military operation was not carried out for the first time as being “tom-tommed” by the saffron party.”BJP’s GVL Narsimha Rao said that for the first time the army has been made aware of its capability. By saying this, we are demeaning the military and its sacrifice. Such statements are shameful and both Parrikar and Rao should apologise to the armed forces,” Sanjay Singh said, adding that in the last 15 years, surgical strikes were carried out nine times.The AAP leader’s criticism came after posters congratulating the Prime Minister came up across Delhi and also in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. Mishra asked whether Parrikar has forgotten that army has been honoured with 21 Param Vir Chakra and 63 Ashok Chakra awards.”You are not aware of army’s strength, which is why the BJP is kneeling before (PDP chief and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister) Mehbooba Mufti. Parrikar is not aware of army’s strength which is why you invited the ISI to investigate the Pathankot attack. Give army the free hand and then it will show the enemy its place,” Kapil Mishra said in his blog post.On Tuesday, Mishra had publicly taken on Mehbooba at an event here asking her if she considered Burhwan Wani and Afzal Guru as terrorists or not, inviting protests from her entourage. Later he left the venue, saying he does not want to share the dais with her.Taking a jibe at Prime Minister, Mishra said even Narendra Modi has not applauded the army. “They have made a 56 inch stage and the show is on.”
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The five-month-old Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be expanded soon with the induction of two PDP MLAs as ministers. The issue came up for discussion when Mehbooba Mufti called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. Immediately afterwards, BJP president Amit Shah met her and the two were also understood to have discussed the issue.As per the arrangement between the two parties, PDP would have 14 ministers, including the Chief Minister, while BJP would have 11, that would include the Deputy Chief Minister.According to sources in the know of the developments, PDP MLA from Amira Kadal constituency Altaf Bukhari is likely to stage a comeback. Bukhari, who was a minister in the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed government, was not included in the cabinet when Mehbooba was sworn-in as the Chief Minister in April this year. Mehbooba was also likely to induct an MLA from the restive South Kashmir in the ministry.Besides Bukhari, Javid Mustafa Mir and two Ministers of State Mohammad Ashraf Mir and Abdul Majeed Padroo, who were part of the previous government led by her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, had been dropped.The BJP was likely to drop one of its ministers and replace him with an MLA from the Kashmiri Pandit community, the sources said. The state can have a maximum of 25 ministers and its current strength is 23.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Monday the Kashmir issue should not be seen through the security prism alone and called upon the political leadership of the country to invest in peace in the state and own the pain and suffering of the people. Addressing party workers from Ganderbal district in Srinagar, she said people of Jammu and Kashmir should not be given to feel that their dignity is being undermined.”The Kashmir issue should not be seen through the security prism alone and the country’s political leadership needs to invest in J&K’s peace and own and acknowledge the pain and sufferings of its people,” she said. Maintaining that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have huge stakes in peace and stability in the region, she said her PDP would continue its efforts to seek larger political consensus for the peaceful resolution of the issues facing the state.”There has to be a larger political consensus on how to meet the challenges confronting Jammu and Kashmir and make this a turning point in the state’s turbulent history so that our future generations do not have to suffer the miseries of violence and bloodshed,” Mehbooba said.”PDP strongly believes that the fast-changing equations in the region offer the country’s leadership, not just a challenge, but also a great opportunity to take a giant step towards making India more at peace not only with its neighbours, but also with itself,” she said.Mehbooba asked Pakistan to take concrete confidence building measures towards reviving the peace and reconciliation process in the region to end the miseries of the people. Maintaining that there is no alternative to reconciliation, Mehbooba said the people in all the regions of Jammu and Kashmir have to suffer enormous human tragedies and economic losses because of the hostility in the region.While people living along the borders in Jammu region suffer and live under the constant threat of cross-border shelling, the people in Kashmir valley are suffering because of the continued internal strife and recurrent violence, the Chief Minister said.She said concrete measures shall have to be taken to address the causes of alienation and cynicism and at the same time revive the process of intra-state and inter-state reconciliation and confidence building. “We shall have to ponder over the emerging situation in the state and go deep into the reasons for mounting alienation especially among the educated youth,” Mehbooba added.The Chief Minister said despite passing through the “darkest era” of its history, the state’s main source of confidence is the substantial potential of building upon its young and enterprising human resource. “It is heartening to note that even after having gone through the most difficult times, our young boys and girls are doing us proud in whatever field they take a plunge,” she said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Her state limping to normalcy after nearly two months of unrest, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Gandhi Jayanti said following the philosophy of peace and brotherhood will be the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by the people in the Valley.Paying tributes to Father of the Nation, she said his philosophy of non-violence, harmonious co-existence and mutual respect will always remain relevant, more so in today’s world marred by varied political and ethnic conflicts. She said over the years Jammu and Kashmir has suffered colossal losses in terms of precious human lives, economic dispossession, cultural disintegration and educational dis-empowerment because of the turmoil.Mehbooba said Kashmir’s true picture is that of communal harmony and religious tolerance.Noting that her government be given time and space to mitigate the sufferings of the people, the Chief Minister said, “We can pay greatest tribute to Gandhi Ji by adopting his philosophy of non-violence and mutual respect.” “Help me bring back peace and I will find a way for dialogue to resolve the issues,” Mehbooba said.She said contrary to the ideal situation of maximum resources being utilized for addressing issues like poverty alleviation and unemployment, they are getting diverted towards defence and security.”Peace and harmony are therefore need of the hour, especially in the South Asian Region where the people are still plagued by poverty and impoverishment,” she added.The Chief Minister said under the prevailing situation on this day we need to resolve to give peace a chance.She said, “Violence has not achieved anything but only brought miseries to the people in terms of development, economy, business, trade, tourism and education.” Recalling the turbulent period during the partition when Mahatma Gandhi “saw a ray of hope in Kashmir alone”, she said Kashmir’s age-old traditions of amity and brotherhood have survived several threats in the past and it would continue to uphold the virtues of a civilized society in the future also.She said public policy must go beyond symbolism of standing for Gandhian philosophy and focus on religious harmony, equality of all religious communities and acceptance of diversity “as the basis of our nationhood which were integral to Gandhi’s way of approaching collective identity”.”A hundred years ago, Gandhi began to move Indian society in the direction of a nationhood that was non-competitive, non-combative and non-exclusionary. Nowhere in the world was there a precedent for such nationhood,” she said.”It is time to rediscover India as a symbol of that inclusive nationhood which forms the central pillar of the country’s present,” she said. Mehbooba said the biggest challenge the world faces today is that of violence and chaos. “Be it a large country like America or a smaller ones like Bangladesh, no one considers itself at absolute peace.” She said, “We have forgotten values of peace and brothe -hood, which we need to revive and if there is any time when Gandhi Ji’s ideals and philosophy are most needed, it is now.” With regard to the special sanitation drive, the Chief Minister lauded the work of Srinagar Municipal Corporation under the prevailing situation in the Valley.Mufti said Gandhiji believed that cleanliness was next to godliness and this drive should help imbibe in us the habit of keeping our surroundings and cities clean.She said specific instructions have been given to the LAWDA authorities with respect to maintaining cleanliness of the Dal Lake. She said if we need to conserve the beauty of Srinagar city we need to conserve Dal Lake and stressed that no encroachments shall be allowed within the area and any such construction will be strictly dealt with. Mehbooba meets Guv, discusses security situationJammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Governor N N Vohra and discussed the prevailing situation including the problems faced by the border area residents in the wake of surgical strikes carried out by Army along the Line of Control.”The Governor and the Chief Minister discussed the internal security situation and steps taken to deal with the problems faced by the residents of border villages consequent to the counter-terrorism operations recently carried out by the Army across the LoC,” an official spokesman said.He said they also discussed issues relating to the education sector and measures required to revive economic activities.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Putting aside their differences, political parties today came together to hail the anti-terror surgical strikes carried out by Army across the LoC, with BJP saying it signals the “rise of new India” and Congress terming it as a “strong message” to Pakistan to stop aiding terrorism.However, BJP ally and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti struck a note of caution as she voiced concern over escalation of situation along the borders and warned that confrontation could lead to a “disaster of epic proportions” for the state. Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi said a “strong message” has been sent with the surgical strikes by Army and insisted that Pakistan bears a “great responsibility” in the continuing cross-border attacks in India.Offering her party’s support to the government in the battle against terror, she said in a statement that “this is a strong message that conveys our country’s resolve to prevent further infiltration and attacks on our security forces and our people”. Her son and party’s Vice President Rahul Gandhi said that all stand firmly united against terrorism and those who support and sponsor it.Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah said every Indian today feels safe in the fight against terrorism under his leadership. “Today’s strikes signal the rise of a new India where the Government doesn’t get cowed down by nefarious designs of terrorists,” Shah said. BJP ally Shiv Sena, which has often taunted the central government over its alleged lack of action against Pakistan- based terrorists, congratulated the Prime Minister and said armed forces have the capacity “to unfurl the tricolour in Lahore and Karachi”.Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “We congratulate the armed forces and government over this action. We should not step back and go ahead as India and armed forces have the capacity to unfurl the tricolour in Lahore and Karachi. We congratulate the Prime Minister.” NCP President and former Defence Minister Sharad Pawar also lauded the army while JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said the whole country is one in support of the defence forces and the government.”Bravo Brave hearts! Feel proud of Jawans for Surgical Strike on terrorist camps in PoK,” Pawar tweeted.
Jammu: Noting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened another window of opportunity for Pakistan by calling for a joint war against poverty, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asked the neighbouring country to understand that such opportunities do not come daily.
“The call of Modiji to Pakistan and its people for war against poverty has no answers (from them). Pakistan, its people and its leadership should understand its meaning,” Mehbooba told a gathering in Jammu on Wednesday.
“There is no answer to his remarks… Despite Pathankot, Modiji went to Lahore for peace but Uri happened,” she said.
Mehbooba said Pakistan should understand that Modi has given them another window of opportunity for friendly relations, peace and normalcy in the region.
“Despite this (Uri) and huge pressure, Modiji as a statesman gave another window (of opportunity) to Pakistan…
If Pakistan will not even today understand this, it will not get such opportunities daily,” she said.
“Recently there was a cry for war and attack on Pakistan — do this and do this kind of environment. But the reply came from our the PM. It was more than hydrogen or atom bomb when he (PM) declared a war against poverty,” she said.
The Chief Minister said had it been former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in such a situation, he would have said the same thing.
“I am hopeful that the strike, PM called for against Pakistan will definitely have results. Our biggest problem is poverty. If problems of conflicts and smaller problem would have not been faced by India, our country would much more developed and prosperous,” she said.
Referring to the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, she said, “We are passing through trying times and a test. The situation is slowly improving in Kashmir.”
Maintaining that war is never an option to resolve the issues, Mehbooba pitched for amicable relations between India and Pakistan to fight the poverty and economic deprivation plaguing the region while underlining the need of a bilateral dialogue to resolve the issues.
“The two nuclear armed neighbors must cooperate in the fields of social development, including eradication of poverty and with their growing economies and energy needs, and the need for newer, more diverse markets and trading opportunities, the future of the troubled region has to be defined by common economic interests instead of hostilities,” she said.
“Instead of fighting wars with each other, the two countries should join hands to eradicate poverty and to address social problems plaguing the region… Modi went to Pakistan with this message on behalf of people of J&K but the Pathankote incident shattered that process,” she said.
The Chief Minister said as in any violent situation, the women have suffered the most in Jammu and Kashmir.
“In Kashmir, women have become primary victims of the violent situation over the last three decades which hasn’t led us anywhere. Our party became the harbinger of peace when my father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, spoke of nursing the wounds of people when the memory of Kargil war was still afresh,” she said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after India decided to boycott the SAARC summit in protest against Uri terror attack, Centre’s ally and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed dismay over the non-participation of the various leaders in the meeting scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November.”It is unfortunate that while other countries are forging new economic ties, the SAARC countries are going in the reverse direction,” Mehbooba said in a statement released by the J&K information department quoting her address at the launch of Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana here on Wednesday..On Tuesday, India formally conveyed to SAARC chair Nepal that the government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad. “India has conveyed to current SAARC chair Nepal that increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of Member States by one country have created an environment that is not conducive to the successful holding of the 19th SAARC summit in Islamabad in November 2016. In the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.Showing their support to India, three other SAARC countries –Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan—too hinted at boycotting the summit in Islamabad. Mehbooba however pitched for amicable relations between India and Pakistan to fight the poverty and economic deprivation plaguing the region while underlining the need of a bilateral dialogue to resolve the issues.”The two nuclear armed neighbors must cooperate in the fields of social development, including eradication of poverty and with their growing economies and energy needs, and the need for newer, more diverse markets and trading opportunities, the future of the troubled region has to be defined by common economic interests instead of hostilities,” she said.Mehbooba noted that instead of fighting wars with each other, the two countries should join hands to eradicate poverty and to address social problems plaguing the region. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Pakistan with this message on behalf of people of J&K but the Pathankote incident shattered that process,” she said.Reacting to the reports that the Centre is in the process of reviewing the Indus Water Treaty, Mehbooba said the agreement, while being beneficial to India and Pakistan, is not in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir. “However, if the two countries can mutually share the water resources, why not their other resources?” she askedUnder fire for mishandling the situation post Burhan Wani’s killing, Mehbooba pleaded for another chance in a bid to restore peace in the restive valley.”Give us a chance… I request you. Help us in restoring peace… Persuade your kids (not to pelt stones)”, an embattled Mehbooba requested the gathering with folded hands.More than 86 people have been killed and over 12000 others injured since the unrest began after the killing of Hizbul Mujhadeen leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8.
Reacting to the reports that the Centre is in the process of reviewing the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said that the treaty, while being beneficial to India and Pakistan, is not in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir.
“India and Pakistan can work together to revise the treaty and allow us to harness the rich water resources in the state. We can tell our country people that we should revise the IWT, but we can’t tell that to Pakistan. The two countries should work together for peace. If the two countries can share water, why not their other resources?” an emotional Mufti told a gathering in Srinagar.
Mufti said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Pakistan with the message of peace on behalf of people of Jammu and Kashmir, but the Pathankot attack shattered that process.
“Our party became the harbinger of peace when my father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, spoke of nursing the wounds of people, when the memory of Kargil war was still afresh,” she said.
“In times of war, Mufti saheb urged India and Pakistan to get involved in talks and start a process of reconciliation. In 2002, we formed the government with Congress when NDA was ruling at the Centre. Atalji (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) understood Mufti saheb’s point of view which had ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity in the state,” she added.
After the PDP-BJP government’s failure to contain the violence in the state, Mufti appealed to the gathering to give her government a chance to run and pitched for a stronger relation between India and Pakistan to fight the economic stagnation plaguing the region. She also underlined the need of a bilateral dialogue to resolve the political issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Give us a chance, there are four and half years (left for her government). You did not give us time (to run a smooth government). Tell your kids (stone-pelters) to go home. Give opportunity to me and my government, PDP and BJP,” Mufti said.
“I have 80 holes in my heart (referring to deaths of over 80 youths in security force firing). Those kids, who should be playing, were instigated to attack police stations, Army camps. What do you think the reaction from the forces will be?” she asked.
Kashmir had been witnessing violence and unrest since 8 July — the day Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed. The violence that followed has left around 90 people dead and thousands injured. The government has employed strong-arm measures to restore order, but has so far failed to enforce its writ.
Mufti said the People’s Democratic Party, of which she is the president, entered into an alliance with the BJP to take forward the mission of restoration of peace in Jammu and Kashmir. “The Assembly was in session. There was an encounter in which three militants were killed. What wrong have I done? What is my fault?”, she asked.
Hitting out at the Opposition for targeting the coalition government, the chief minister said the same parties, who want to keep the pot boiling in Kashmir, sold their mandate in the past to remain in power.
“Those speaking against us used to talk in the language of war when they were in power. Mufti saheb knew that Modi has the mandate of the entire country, which was why we shook hands with the BJP. We have lost widows and orphans. How long are we going to fight with each other?” she said.
“We endured your hatred (for stitching alliance with BJP) and Modi came to power by winning a majority. If anybody can find a solution to the Kashmir issue, it is this government,” she said.
“If Muslims are safe anywhere in the world, it is in our country,” Mufti said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday called upon cadres of her Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to work for creating an amicable atmosphere within the state that would sustain the efforts at reviving and building the peace and reconciliation process started in 2003.”Peace and reconciliation has been the core agenda of our party and the hostile atmosphere around the State will one day have to yield place to reason and reconciliation. The peace and reconciliation process which was started in 2003 had gained ground and shown results as the atmosphere within J&K was congenial for the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to take shape, Mehbooba, who is also PDP president, said. Mehbooba was addressing a meeting of senior PDP leaders, party Ministers, Members of Parliament, legislators and coordinators here.Expressing pain at the loss of precious human lives during the current unrest in Kashmir, the Chief Minister said she and her government are not looking out for a temporary truce but would focus on building an environment where such turbulences never visit the people again. She said while PDP and its alliance partner BJP are committed to the implementation of the ‘Agenda of the Alliance’, a congenial atmosphere needs to be created within and around the State for its effective implementation.Unfortunately we did not get any time to even start the implementation of Agenda of Alliance and some elements who thought that PDP is serious about the promises it made to the people, started making attempts from day one to create hurdles and ultimately found an encounter as the trigger to exploit the sentiments, she said. Mehbooba said the positive impact that the government under the leadership of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed made between 2002-2005, was the result of the combination of circumstances, important one being the readiness of Pakistan to enter into a dialogue process in response to the repeated peace overtures by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.This time, however, the initiatives by Prime Minister Narendra Modi were unfortunately responded to with negativity and even hostility by Pakistan, she said. “But I am confident that the way forward for everybody is through acceptance of ground realities and offering relief, hope and dignity to the people which could ultimately lead to permanent reconciliation, peace and resolution in the region”, Mehbooba said. She said PDP was founded in the immediate aftermath of Kargil war and it was this party that first raised the banner of good relations between the two countries, an agenda that was accepted by everyone in the following years.Our party will never compromise on the need for peace as it is our state and its people who are the main victim of hostilities in the region, she said. Asking the party ministers to increase accessibility and interaction with the people, Mehbooba said the current trouble should lead us to work with more zeal for the welfare of the people and revive the cadres of the party to act as emissaries of peace and development.While it is satisfying that the government has been able to ensure even in the face of difficulties and odds the supply of rations, power, water, gas, medicines and functioning of hospitals, education has received debilitating blow. She said the business and the industry have suffered a loss of thousands of crores and numerous people have been rendered jobless.Expressing confidence in the resilience of the people of Kashmir, Mehbooba said they have come out of many a crisis in the past and were trying to pick up the threads of life after the devastating floods of 2014 when the present turmoil cut short one of the best tourist seasons and revival of economic activities in the valley. She said her government will provide succour in the revival of economy but those who are out to damage the states interests and keep the pot boiling will have to change their mindset and methods so that the people do not suffer.Senior party leader and Member of Parliament Muzaffar Hussain Beigh said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is facing unprecedented challenges. We have full confidence in the abilities and leadership of Mehbooba Ji that she will lead the people out of this morass and quagmire. And I appeal every stakeholder to strengthen the hands of the Chief Minister so that a workable solution to our issues is realized, he said.Beigh said resolution of the Kashmir issue is a must to ensure sustainable peace and development in the state and the parties to the conflict have to realize this fact and work in a manner that will facilitate bonhomie and good neighbourly relations.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A major offensive by security forces to flush out terrorists from Jammu and Kashmir looks all set to begin very soon along with efforts to bring stakeholders on the table for talks to start the process of finding a lasting solution to Kashmir imbroglio.Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was in Srinagar on Tuesday to hold parleys with governor N N Vohra and chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to bring both the state government and Centre on the same page on the twin issues, sources said.Mehbooba being the chief minister heads the unified command in J&K and has to be taken onboard before starting an offensive of high magnitude as it could fuel public sentiments further like what happened after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani’s encounter death.Mehrishi also held a security review meeting which was attended by top officials from security forces, police and intelligence agencies. Mehrishi understood to have discussed preparedness of security forces in the valley in case of escalation with Pakistan that is very much on the cards after terror attack on Uri Army base camp by Pak trained Jaish fidayeens.Intelligence agencies suspect that during more than two months of unrest when counter insurgency operations almost came to a halt Pakistan succeeded in infiltrating a large number of terrorists into India.According to analysis of collated intelligence, as much as 200-220 terrorists may have managed to infiltrate J&K since January this year. The massive unrest that triggered after Wani’s encounter death provided them ample opportunity to travel to various towns and mingle with crowds.During the time of unrest, intelligence agencies painstakingly worked on the movement of terrorists with the help of intercepts and human intelligence and mapped and jotted down their area of operations which will come handy in launching operations against them, said highly placed sources.Officials believe that once the security agencies are able to flush out or neutralise a sizeable number of terrorists and militants, it will not only reduce the intensity of violent protests but will also impact the morale of the resistance group and separatist leaders thus making it possible to bring them on the table for talks.The government will discuss and fine-tune the diplomatic offensive in the meeting of cabinet committee on security on Wednesday. In an unscheduled meeting at the house of minister of parliamentary affairs, Ananth Kumar, Sushma Swaraj and defence minister Manohar Parrikar discussed the strategy with other cabinet colleagues – home minister Rajnath Singh and finance minister Arun Jaitley. The meeting also discussed pre- poning the winter session parliament to bring the GST bill for passage.
While two of the 17 soldiers hail from Jammu and Kashmir, rest of them belong to Uttar Pradesh (four), Bihar (three), Maharashtra (three), West Bengal (two), Jharkhand (two) and Rajasthan (one). <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti led senior Army and police officials in paying tributes at the wreath laying ceremony for the 17 soldiers killed in the militant attack on an Army base in Uri.”Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti laid wreaths on the coffins of the martyred soldiers at a somber ceremony held at headquarters of the Chinar Corps here at Badamibagh,” an Army official said.He said General officer Commanding of the Chinar Corps Lt General Satish Dua and Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar were among senior security officials who laid wreaths to pay their respects.
ALSO READ Uri attack: Pak denies involvement, India refuses to back offThe Chief Minister later visited the soldiers, injured in yesterday’s attack, at the 92 Base Hospital of the Army, the official said.Following directions of Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar, the Army has made arrangements for transporting the mortal remains of all the martyrs directly to their respective hometowns.
ALSO READ #UriAttack: Pakistan says India has history of blaming it after terror strikes, rejects charges as ‘baseless’While two of the 17 soldiers hail from Jammu and Kashmir, rest of them belong to Uttar Pradesh (four), Bihar (three), Maharashtra (three), West Bengal (two), Jharkhand (two) and Rajasthan (one).
In one of the deadliest attacks on the Army in recent years, 17 jawans were killed and 19 others injured as heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the force in North Kashmir’s Uri town early on Sunday. Four militants involved in the terror strike were killed by the Army. Heavily armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Army. Explosions and gunfire erupted as the militants attacked the camp, which is located barely few metres away from the Army’s Brigade Headquarters in Uri town, 102 kms from Srinagar, around 4 am on Sunday, official sources said.
The jawans of the Dogra Regiment were sleeping in a tent which caught fire due the explosion. The fire also engulfed the nearby barracks, the sources said. 17 jawans were killed in the terror attack, the Northern Command of the Army said. Nineteen other personnel were injured in the strike in which four militants were killed.
“A group of heavily armed terrorists targeted the rear administrative base of a unit at Uri, Kashmir. In the counter action, four terrorists have been eliminated and combing operations are in progress,” the Army said in a statement. “The administrative base had large strength of troops of units turning over after their tour of duty who were stationed in tents/temporary shelters which caught fire, and resulted in heavy casualties. We salute the sacrifice of 17 soldiers who were martyred in the operation,” the statement said.
Helicopters from the Army’s 19 divisional headquarters in Baramulla have been pressed into service and the injured Army personnel have been evacuated from the encounter site, the sources said. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag are rushing to Kashmir in the wake of terror attack in Uri.
The Home Minister has also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the terror attack. The attack comes two years after militants had carried out a similar type of attack at Mohra in the same area. Ten security personnel were killed in the attack that took place on December 5, 2014.
It is believed that the attack was the handiwork of a freshly infiltrated group of militants who could have entered along the Salamabad Nallah into the town. The Home Minister has postponed his scheduled visit to Russia and the United States in the wake of the attack in Uri and the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh also spoke to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the situation arising out of the terror strike in Uri. The Home Minister was scheduled to leave for Russia tonight for a four-day bilateral visit and later to the US on September 26 for a six-day tour to attend the Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue. “Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the US,” he said in a statement here.
The Home Minister said he has spoken to Governor N N Vohra and the Chief Minister and discussed with them the situation arising out of attack on a Army Brigade Headquarters in Uri and both of them apprised him of the overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “I have given instructions to Home Secretary (Rajiv Mehrishi) and other officers in the Home Ministry to closely monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
The Home Minister also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the attack on the Brigade Headquarters in Uri. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, the Union Home Secretary, top Army, paramilitary and Home Ministry officials are attending it. The Home Minister has postponed his scheduled visit to Russia and the United States in the wake of the attack in Uri and the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.
Singh also spoke to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on the situation arising out of the terror strike in Uri. “Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the US,” he said in a statement here.
The Home Minister said he has spoken to Governor N N Vohra and the Chief Minister and discussed with them the situation arising out of attack on a Army Brigade Headquarters in Uri and both of them apprised him of the overall situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “I have given instructions to Home Secretary (Rajiv Mehrishi) and other officers in the Home Ministry to closely monitor the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
The Home Minister also called an emergency meeting to review the situation arising out of the attack on the Brigade Headquarters in Uri. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the Union Home Secretary, top Army, paramilitary and Home Ministry officials are attending the meeting.
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said a handful of people opposed to peace were inciting youth to violence in the Kashmir Valley.
She said she was unable to understand why such madness has gripped the Valley, this time around though there have been deaths in shootouts before.
“There have been encounters before, people have been killed before but why so much madness this time around,” she wondered while addressing a gathering here, referring to the cycle of violence in the Kashmir valley following the 8 July killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Speaking at an official function in the Bhagwati Nagar area of the city, Mehbooba, who visited Jammu for the first time since the violence began in the valley last month, said some elements “who do not want peace in Kashmir” are inciting youths to violence “for their vested interests”.
Coming down heavily on such elements Mehbooba said that 95 per cent of Kashmiris should not be held to ransom for the misdeeds of just five per cent of bad elements.
“Why should 95 per cent people of Kashmir suffer for the misdeeds of five per cent,” she said.
“Whenever they see that some constructive work is being done, some progress is being made, they try to hinder it,” Mehbooba said as she urged the central government to look at the plight of the “majority of peace-loving people”.
She asserted that the predominant majority of Kashmiris were peace loving and want “dignity and development”.
Mehbooba said the security forces have been exercising restraint and it was people “who use children and women as shields while attacking police stations and security forces’ camps” who are responsible for the large number of casualties.
“A large number of security personnel have been injured ever since the unrest began. This shows the level of restraint they have been exercising.”
“These people started trouble in 2008. They started trouble again in 2010 following a fake encounter in Machil. After I took over, they tried to start trouble on the pretext of Handwara (alleged rape) incident which they failed to do.”
She said these elements also tried to raise the issues of separate colonies for retired soldiers and Kashmiri Pandits but “failed”.
At least 68 people have been killed and thousands injured in the recent unrest in the valley.
Mehbooba said violence was no means to achieve anything.
The fact that students from Kashmir studying outside the state did not face any problems because of the unrest proves the fact that people in other parts of the county love Kashmiris, said the chief minister.
She welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s statement that dialogue is important for a lasting solution.
“We welcome Prime Minister’s statement. We also want a lasting solution. Wherever needed, we will cooperate,” she said.
Mehbooba thanked the people of Jammu for maintaining peace and harmony at a time the valley was scarred by violence.
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said a handful of people opposed to peace were inciting youth to violence in the Kashmir valley.
Speaking at an official function in Bhagwati Nagar area of the city, Mehbooba, who visited Jammu for the first time since violence began in the valley last month, said these people “who do not want peace in Kashmir are inviting youths to violence for their vested interests.”
The Kashmir Valley has been on the boil since the 8 July killing of militant commander Burhan Wani. At least 68 people have been killed and thousands injured in the subsequent unrest in the valley.
Mehbooba said violence was no means to achieve anything. “Guns went into Afghanistan, Syria and Russia. Was anything achieved there by using those guns? Violence brings only destruction and nothing else.”
The Chief Minister thanked the people of Jammu for maintaining peace and harmony at a time the valley was going through difficult times.
“These people started trouble in 2008. They started trouble again in 2010 following a fake encounter in Machil. After I took over, they tried to start trouble on the pretext of Handwara (alleged rape) incident which they failed to do.”
She said these elements also tried to raise the issues of separate colonies for retired soldiers and Kashmiri Pandits but “failed”.
Mehbooba asserted that the predominant majority of Kashmiris were peace loving and want “dignity and development”.
“Certain quarters are not happy with the PDP-BJP coalition in the state and they have been out to unsettle the alliance,” she said.
The Chief Minister said the fact that students from Kashmir studying outside the state did not face any problems because of the unrest proves the fact that people in other parts of the county love Kashmiris.
Srinagar: One person was killed in a clash between a mob and security forces in downtown Srinagar on Sunday evening, shattering the peace that was by and large witnessed in Kashmir through the day with curfew in force in the capital and two other towns.
Irfan Ahmed was injured in a clash between stone pelters and security forces in Fateh Kadal area and he succumbed to his injuries in SMHS hospital later, a police official said.
With this, the toll during the 44-day unrest has gone up to 65, including two policemen.
Earlier, the situation was largely under control through the day with incidents of stone pelting reported only from three places — Kangan in Ganderbal and Trumgund and Behrampora in Sopore.
The miscreants assembled on roads and pelted stones on police and security forces, police spokesman said.
Apart from these incidents, “the situation remained under control across the valley till the filing of this report,” he said.
Curfew was in force in the entire Srinagar district as well as in Anantnag and Pampore towns as a precautionary measure, a police official said.
He said restrictions on the movement of the people were also in force in rest of the Valley.
Shops, private offices and petrol pumps remained closed while public transport continued to be off the roads.
Mobile internet also continued to remain suspended in the entire Valley, while postpaid mobile services and incoming facility on prepaid mobiles were resumed yesterday. However, outgoing facility on prepaid services remained barred.
The separatist camp had called upon people to assemble and occupy local chowks and centers from 3 pm to 5 pm on Sunday.
The separatists have also asked the people to paste on walls the letters, asking all ministers, MLAs and MLCs from all parties to resign from government and party positions.
The separatist camp, headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, has extended the agitation till 25 August.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Thursday, the revocation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state would need critical review of the security situation.”The need and desirability of revocation of AFSPA in various areas of the state requires critical review of the security situation and other relevant factors,” she said in a written reply to a question in the Legislative Council.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister’s reply came to a clubbed question of opposition National Conference (NC) lawmakers – Shehnaz Ganai, Showkat Hussain Ganai and Bashir Ahmad Veeri.
ALSO READ Jammu and Kashmir oppostion guns for PDP after Centre rules out lifting of AFSPAMehbooba, who holds the Home Department portfolio, said AFSPA was in operation in the state but the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, 1997, ceased to be in force in 1998. The Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, 1997, ceased to be in force in 1998 with effect from October 7, 1998, she said.There have been demands from many quarters for the revocation of AFSPA. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had pitched for its revocation during his term, but the demand was ruled out by the Centre.
Srinagar: There have been 11,270 ceasefire violations and border firing incidents by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir since 2002 which have resulted in the killing of 313 people, including 144 security forces personnel, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti told the Legislative Council on Tuesday.
She said these violations and incidents have taken place between 1 January, 2002 and 31 December, 2015.
The highest number of such violations took place in 2002 when 8376 incidents were reported while 2045 incidents of ceasefire violations were reported in 2003, she said in written reply to a question.
The ceasefire between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control and international border in Jammu and Kashmir came into force in November 2003.
For three years — 2004, 2005 and 2007 — there was not a single such violation on the border, Mehbooba said.
The Chief Minister said 169 civilians and 144 security men were killed in the shelling from across the border in J&K since 2002.
The highest number of 76 civilians were killed in such violations in 2002 while in 2003, 59 civilians were killed in the border shelling.
Over the next 10 years, four people died in the ceasefire violation, she said.
In 2014 and 2015, 14 and 16 civilians were killed respectively in ceasefire violations from across the border, she said.
A total of 735 civilians and 311 security forces personnel were injured in these violations in these years, Mehbooba said.
She said a maximum of 58 security men were killed and other 157 injured in the year 2002.
Srinagar: Over 8,000 AK series rifles and nearly 10 lakh AK rounds of ammunition have been recovered from militants in the last 14 years in Jammu and Kashmir, government said on Tuesday.
The security agencies have recovered 8,146 AK-47/56/74 rifles from militants from 1 January, 2002 to 31 December, 2015 during counter-insurgency operations, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who also holds the charge of Home Department, said in a written reply to a question in the Legislative Council.
During the same period, 9.938 lakh AK-series rounds and 24,372 AK-series magazines have also been recovered, she said.
The security agencies recovered 2,877 pistols and revolvers, 2,899 magazines and 38,688 rounds.
Besides, 44 Uber Machine Guns (UMGs), 24 carbines, 673 RPGs, 6 general-purpose machine guns (GPMGs), 144 LMGs and SLRs, 76 sniper rifles, 698 rocket boosters and 181 rifles (.303) were recovered from 2002 to 2015, the chief minister said.
She said 22 UMG magazines and 7,567 ammunition rounds, 141 LMG and SLR magazines, 16 carbine magazines, 7099 sniper rifle ammunition, 2700 .303 rifle ammunition, 347 belted ammunition and one telescope were also recovered in these years.
The chief minister said that 20,158 grenades and hand grenades, 2,828 electronic detonators, 14,903 detonators, 613 Anti-Personnel Mines, 88 Anti-Tank Mines were also recovered from militants by the security agencies.
During the 14-year period, 8947.25 kg of explosives and 6,871.6 kg of RDX have also been recovered during counter-insurgency operations, the chief minister said.
The security agencies recovered 3,513 wireless sets, 434 binoculars and also 3,464 metres of cordex explosive, she said.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has stoked a major controversy by dragging religion (Islam) in the Pampore terror attack that left eight CRPF men dead and 22 others injured.”It (terror attacks) will not achieve anything. We are only defaming our Kashmir and state. At the same time we dealing a blow to our religion (Islam) under whose garb we do such things,” Mehbooba told reporters after laying floral wreath on the mortal remains of slain CRPF men.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister wondered how somebody can indulge in such senseless acts of blood-letting in the name of Islam and that also in holy month of Ramzaan, which is the month of peace and blessings for the people.”How can somebody even think of bringing anguish to the lives of families whether of security forces personnel or civilians? Violence is unacceptable in any way and for any reason,” she said. Principal opposition party the National Conference (NC) was quick to condemn Mehbooba comments that held Muslims and Islam culpable for the Pampore attack.”This is yet another instance where Mehbooba Mufti was feeding in to the bigoted ‘Islamic Terror’ narrative,” said Junaid Mattu, NC State Spokesperson. Condemning the dastardly attack on the CRPF convoy, the NC Spokesperson expressed solidarity with the families of the martyred policemen and said violence in any shape is condemnable and unacceptable.”While our hearts go out to the families of the martyred CRPF personnel, we are shocked at the chief minister’s continued desperation to jump on the ‘Islamic Terror’ bandwagon. One wonders what her compulsions are but this is tragic,” he said.Junaid said Mehbooba started this in Jammu in the presence of the Prime Minister where she publicly ridiculed, generalised and demeaned Muslims and Muslim societies for being unstable, undemocratic and sectarian in nature.”Since then she has left no opportunity to hit out at Muslims and Islam and her recent comment equating the Pampore attack with Muslims and Islam is despicable and highly condemnable. She should think before she speaks”, he said.The ghost of unmarked gravesThe Jammu and Kashmir home department has revealed that in the last nearly four years, majority of the militants killed there remained unidentified, leading to fresh possibility of revival of the ‘unmarked graves’ controversy in which hundreds of unidentified graves were found axross the state.Since 2013, 200 militants have been killed but couldn’t be identified. Those killings which were identified included 103 local militants and 45 foreign militants. 53 security personnel were also killed in 2013.In 2014, even as 47 security men were killed and 84 injured, besides 28 local and 17 foreign militants, the bodies of 65 other militants could not be identified.In 2015, the security forces lost 39 men, and 103 of them were injured. 57 militants were killed in 2014 but couldn’t be identified.In 2016, while 20 local militants and four foreign militants have been killed and identified, 39 of those killed remain to be identified. Security forces, on the other hand have lost 21 of their men and 52 of them got injured.According to the state police, 145 militants are operating there, of which 91 are locals and 54 are foreigners. Meanwhile, of the 4587 youth who were on the other side of the LoC, 489 have returned through Nepal with their families between 2003 and May 2016, according to the state home department.
Opposition National Conference attacked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday, over her alleged remark that she is “ashamed as a Muslim.” NC spokesperson Junaid Mattu claimed that Mehbooba Mufti while speaking to reporters after the wreath laying ceremony for the CRPF personnel martyred in Pampore has said that “she was ashamed as a Muslim over the attack.””This is the same Mehbooba Mufti who used to say that terror has no religion. Now suddenly she sees terror as an offshoot of Islam for which Muslims should be ashamed. This is shameful coming from a Chief Minister,” Mattu said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in a tweet said, “So Mehbooba Mufti has joined the “Islamic terror” bandwagon after spending years saying terror had no religion.”
ALSO READ Pampore attack: Such incidents ‘defaming’ J&K, setback to religion we practise: Mehbooba Mufti”Nothing can be achieved by this…. We are only defaming Kashmir and the state by these acts. We also deal a set back to the religion we practice,” Mehbooba had said on Sunday after laying floral wreath on the coffins of the CRPF personnel killed in Pampore on Saturday.
ALSO READ Pampore attack: Mehbooba Mufti, Nirmal Singh attend wreath laying ceremony for martyrsCondemning the dastardly attack on the CRPF convoy, the NC spokesperson expressed solidarity with the families of the martyred policemen saying violence in any form is condemnable and unacceptable. “While our hearts go out to the families of the martyred CRPF personnel, we are shocked at the Chief Minister’s continued desperation to jump on the Islamic terror bandwagon. One wonders what her compulsions are but this is tragic. She’s either still trying to prove her loyalty to the RSS and VHP or she has pledged to assail Muslim societies, Muslim countries and Islam as a convenient medium of political empowerment,” Mattu alleged, adding Mehbooba’s comment was “despicable and highly condemnable.”
Srinagar: Opposition National Conference on Sunday attacked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti over her alleged remark where she said she is “ashamed as a Muslim.”
NC spokesperson Junaid Mattu claimed that Mehbooba Mufti while speaking to reporters after the wreath laying ceremony for the CRPF personnel martyred in Pampore has said that “she was ashamed as a Muslim over the attack.”
“This is the same Mehbooba Mufti who used to say that terror has no religion. Now suddenly she sees terror as an offshoot of Islam for which Muslims should be ashamed. This is shameful coming from a Chief Minister,” Mattu said.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in a tweet said, “So Mehbooba Mufti has joined the “Islamic terror” bandwagon after spending years saying terror had no religion.”
“Nothing can be achieved by this…. We are only defaming Kashmir and the state by these acts. We also deal a set back to the religion we practice,” Mehbooba had told reporters on Sunday after laying floral wreath on the coffins of the CRPF personnel killed in Pampore on Saturday.
Condemning the dastardly attack on the CRPF convoy, the NC spokesperson expressed solidarity with the families of the martyred policemen saying violence in any form is condemnable and unacceptable. “While our hearts go out to the families of the martyred CRPF personnel, we are shocked at the Chief Minister’s continued desperation to jump on the Islamic terror bandwagon.
One wonders what her compulsions are but this is tragic. She’s either still trying to prove her loyalty to the RSS and VHP or she has pledged to assail Muslim societies, Muslim countries and Islam as a convenient medium of political empowerment,” Mattu alleged, adding Mehbooba’s comment was “despicable and highly condemnable.”
The Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP alliance received the first stamp of approval from the people when the chief minister won the assembly bypoll from the Anantnag constituency with a record margin.Mehbooba defeated her nearest rival Hilal Ahmad Shah of Congress by a margin of 12,085 votes. Mehbooba polled 17,701 votes while Shah got 5,616 votes. National Conference candidate Iftikhar Hussain Misger finished third with 2,811 votes.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What made Mehbooba’s victory sweeter was the margin of votes. Her father late Mufti Mohommad Sayeed had defeated Shah by 6,000 votes from the same constituency in 2014 assembly polls.”I am thankful to the people especially women, young and old, that they have reposed faith in me like the way they trusted Mufti Sahab. I pray to Allah to give me strength so that I can live up to the expectations of the people,” said Mehbooba.The June 22 byelection in the Anantnag assembly was necessitated with the demise of Mufti Mohommad Sayeed on January 7. Under the Constitution, byelections have to be held within the six months after the demise of the sitting MLA.Mehbooba, who is also People’s Democratic Party’s Lok Sabha member from Anantnag constituency, was trying her luck for the first time from Anantnag assembly segment which was represented by her late father twice.With the victory in Anantnag, Mehbooba has maintained her record of not losing any election from her traditional bastion of south Kashmir either for the Assembly or Parliament. She, however, has lost once to National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in 1999 when she contested against him from the Srinagar parliamentary seat.Mehbooba’s victory, however, was marred by the allegations of rigging and tampering with the EVMs by the opposition parties. Congress candidate Hilal Shah alleged that the EVMS were tampered with and the signatures were not matching on the machines.”All the EVMs were unsealed. The signatures we had done in the polling booths were not matching with the machines. These were totally different machines,” said Shah.The Congress candidate later gave a written complaint to the returning officer about the alleged malpractices in the elections. “We have given written complaint to the returning officer. Deputy commissioner threatened to send people behind bars when the agents protested against the malpractices. Now, we will be knocking the doors of the court because the results were nothing but fraud and cheating,” said Shah.Deputy commissioner Anantnag Syed Abid Rashid Shah denied the allegations saying the protestors created ruckus and tried to damage to the EVMs.”We had it (EVMs) elaborately checked. There was no tampering. EVMs cannot be tampered with unless it is visible. They created a commotion. I told them to behave because they tried to damage the EVMs also. They created huge ruckus,” he told dna.The results also sparked twitter war between PDP and the National Conference. “Thanks to the whole administration, free government ration & when that didn’t work the tampered EVM’s. Congratulations!” tweeted Tanvir Sadiq, senior NC leader and close aide of former chief minister Omar Abdullah.PDP was quick to hit back with `grapes are sour’ jibe to silence Sadiq. “Typical ‘Grapes are sour’. You ignored Anantnag for six decades hence people ditched your party long back”, tweeted the PDP.Allegations and counter allegations apart, celebrations broke out in Anantnag after Mehbooba won the polls. PDP workers burst crackers and took out a victory march outside the counting hall shouting slogans in favour of Mehbooba and the party.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday offered his condolences to the kin of the eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, who were martyred in an encounter with Lashkar terrorists in Pampore, Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday evening.”I salute the courage of the CRPF personnel martyred today in J&K. They served the nation with utmost dedication. Pained by their demise. My thoughts are with the families of those martyred today. May those injured recover soon,” the Prime Minister said in a series of tweets.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has also condemned the militant attack, saying that such acts of violence were aimed at subverting the Government’s efforts to bring peace and prosperity to the state.
ALSO READ Pampore: Lashkar terrorists attack bus carrying CRPF personnel; 8 jawans martyred”The only purpose of such blood-spattered acts of violence is to add to the tragedies and miseries of the people and subvert the Government’s efforts aimed at bringing permanent peace and prosperity to Jammu and Kashmir,” Mufti said in a statement.Mehbooba also said that the elements inimical to interests of Jammu and Kashmir have always tried to derail the peace efforts and the latest militant strike at Pampore was again aimed at subverting the peace and development initiatives launched by the Government. Mehbooba while expressing solidarity with the bereaved families of the security forces personnel, prayed for early recovery of the injured including civilians.
ALSO READ Pampore: ‘Deeply anguised’ by the attack, Rajnath Singh prays for speedy recovery of injured”I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in today?s dastardly militant attack,” she said and added that violence has not served any purpose in the past, nor is it going to do anything in future, except shedding precious human blood.Eight CRPF personnel were martyred and 24 injured in the major ambush by two terrorists, who were neutralised in the encounter in Pampore. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar offered his condolences to the families of the martyred and said that he is praying for the early recovery of those injured.CRPF DG K Durga Prasad has briefed Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the incident and will be visiting Pampore on Sunday to take stock of the situation.The CRPF asserted on Saturday that the two terrorists, who have been neutralised in the gunfight, appeared to be Pakistanis and were Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives.”According to the first hand info, both killed terrorists appeared to be Pakistanis and definitely from Lashkar and in all likelihood fidayeen,” IG, CRPF operation Nalin Parbhat said.Security personnel recovered arms and ammunition including 2 AK 47 Rifles, 11 hand grenades from the killed terrorists.
Batting for revival of the Indo-Pak reconciliation process to bring about peace in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said if hostilities between the two neighbours can become news, why cannot cultural bonhomie.”I wonder if hostilities can become news between the two neighbours, why can’t such cultural bonhomie,” she told reporters here. Mehbooba joined thousands of devotees from the two countries at the shrine of Baba Chamliyal near the International Border (IB) in Ramgarh sector of Samba district on the occasion of the annual Mela of the mystic saint. MP Jugal Kishore Sharma, state Industries Minister Chander Parkash Ganga and state Tourism Minister Priya Sethi accompanied the Chief Minister.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mehbooba said given its socio-religious significance, Chamliyal could become the hub of a new movement for reconciliation in the region. “I hope our good intentions are reciprocated by our neighbour,” she said, emphasising on people-to-people contact between the two countries “to remove mistrust and create a congenial atmosphere for dialogue and reconciliation”. The PDP leader said like “siblings locked in an endless rivalry”, India and Pakistan have bickered for well over six decades.”Transforming that rivalry into a mature, productive relationship will be difficult but the consequences of continued animosity will be much worse,” said Mehbooba, adding that there is always a possibility of friendship between the two countries as both the cultures share “a fondness for each other”. She said if there is any “silver lining in the grey clouds of competition”, it is the fact that normalising relations would be a boon for business in both countries.”It may sound simplistic but building relationships is the key to peace and economic prosperity in the subcontinent in the foreseeable future,” she said, adding that some “measurable amount of friendship” will become unavoidable “very soon”. She said both the countries stand to gain if bilateral trade, economic and societal relations between the two improve and they are able to resolve their problems gradually.”This can be possible if they are innovative in their thinking and break out of the stranglehold of one-sided, emotionally charged narrative of history,” she said, adding to begin with there can be friendly exchanges in various fields such as art, environment, culture, youth affairs, sports, information and media. The Chief Minister offered chadar at the shrine. Stressing on the need to revive the Indo-Pak reconciliation process, Mehbooba said it is imperative towards bringing about peace in Jammu and Kashmir and beyond.”We are working with the government of India for opening Suchetgarh-Sialkote, Kargil-Skardu, Nowshera-Mirpur and some other roads to encourage people-to-people contact,” she said, adding that Suchetgarh has the potential of becoming “J&K’s Wagah” as was envisioned by her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.She said in the long run, Suchetgarh can become a trading point like Salamabad and Chakan-da-Bagh with the neighbouring country, adding that the village has been taken up for development as a border tourism destination under the Swadesh Darshan project funded by the Union Tourism Ministry.The various components of the Rs 5-crore project include restoration of old Octroi Post, construction of a multi-purpose hall, development of waterbody and landscaping of lawns to enhance the ambience of the place, she added.
Polling was underway on Wednesday for the bypoll in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency, where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is in the fray, election officials said.Starting on a slow note, voting picked up pace as 23 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise till 1 PM, an official spokesperson said. There was no report of any untoward incident so far, the officials said. He said out of 19,174 votes polled so far, 10,868 voters were male and 8,306 female.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The total number of registered voters in the assembly segment is 84,067 — 42,840 males and 41,227 females, the spokesman said, adding there are 102 polling stations in the constituency. Voting picked up after a slow start in the morning due to the ongoing holy month of Ramzan, officials said.They said there were some pockets in the constituency where the voting percentage is still less than 10, while in some places, there has been brisk polling.
Srinagar: Seeking entry into the Assembly as a member from Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday urged voters to give her a strong and decisive mandate so that she can continue efforts to take the state out from the morass of political and economic uncertainties.
Addressing a series of election meetings in Anantnag which will go to polls on 22 June, she invoked her late father and former Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed who was a member from this constituency when he passed away in January and said she was seeking the mandate to carry forward his mission of development and progress.
She insisted that her party PDP is the only dependable party “If you want a change of direction, not just a change of government; if you want new priorities, not just politics.”
Mehbooba, who is heading a PDP-BJP coalition government since April, said the next five years are crucial for not only ensuring good governance but accomplishing the challenging task of rebuilding safe, sustainable and planned infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir.
She is currently a member of Parliament from Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency.
“It is my party’s resolve to retrieve Jammu and Kashmir from the morass of political and economic uncertainties and usher the state into an era of peace and prosperity.
“We have started picking up the threads from where we left in 2005 (when the tenure of previous PDP-led government ended) to revive the process of political reconciliation and economic rejuvenation so that we can secure a peaceful and prosperous future for the state and its people,” she said.
The 57-year-old leader who took the party’s mantle after her father’s demise said the people of the state, more than ever before, want today the politicians to stand up and address the political and economic issues that matter to them.
They want leadership, they want commitment, they want accountability, they want political stability, they want economic prosperity, they want development and they want employment.
“As a dependable regional political force, PDP has demonstrated that it can deliver on all these counts with unflinching consistency and has in fact set the momentum for tangible transformation on the ground through path-breaking developmental and welfare initiatives,” she said.
“I urge the people of Anantnag to join us in this enterprise of hope, as together, we can make the difference and rebuild a safe, sustainable and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir for our future generations,” she said.
Urging the electorate to support her, Mehbooba said, “I have come to seek your vote and support to carry forward the mission of my father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed which could not be fully accomplished because of his sad demise.”
She expressed the hope that voters of Anantnag would once again repose faith in PDP and elect her as their representative so that Sayeed’s dream of bringing peace and development to the state is realized.
“Mufti Sahab started his political career from Anantnag and people of the area showed their trust in him during the difficult times. I am hopeful that people will again repose their faith on PDP and give me an opportunity to serve them and realize the dream of Mufti Sahab for the state,” she said.
Mehbooba said PDP’s agenda is not event-related but a process which is being and would be taken to the logical conclusion through tangible initiatives at political, economic and administrative fronts.
“We have demonstrated that during our brief stint in power between 2002 and 2005 and would continue to pursue our core ideals with unflinching consistency in our present tenure in the government,” she said.
The Chief Minister said her government’s focus is on skill development, agriculture, horticulture, handicrafts and tourism sectors which are the mainstay of the state’s economy.
“Various multilateral institutions and major corporate houses have been roped in to build and finetune the infrastructure in these key sectors to achieve the desired levels of growth,” she told the electorate.
Infrastructure building in agriculture, horticulture, tourism and handicraft sectors would not only give a fillip to the state’s economy but would help create more job opportunities for the local youth by fully harnessing their enterprising skills, she said.
Mehbooba said the problem of unemployment especially among the educated youth is a matter of grave concern and needs immediate thought.
“Imaginative policies are being directed to enable the state’s youth to become a productive, self-confident and committed force for its development.
“Not only the government but the whole nation, including individuals, institutions and organizations, have to be brought together in a spirit of creative enterprise to widen the economic and employment space for J&K’s youth,” she said.
A major political storm has hit Mehbooba Mufti-led Jammu and Kashmir government after police seized Rs 58.8 lakh cash from a car in the poll-bound Anantnag constituency.Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba is contesting the June 22 by-elections from the Anantnag constituency. The seat had fallen vacant after the death of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on January 7.Pandemonium rocked Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on Thursday when opposition Congress and National Conference created ruckus alleging that the cash was meant for buying votes for Mehbooba Mufti.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Authorities, however, were quick to rubbish the charge claiming that the cash belonged to Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ashaji Pora Branch and it was being transported to be deposited in the currency chest when the vehicle was stopped by police naka party at Janglat Mandi on Wednesday evening.Shouting slogans `loot maar bandh karo’ (stop the loot), `paisa bantna band karo’ (stop distribution of money), Congress and NC members walked out of the House in protest demanding explanation from the government and Election Commission (EC).”Our charge is that the cash was meant to be distributed and buy votes. We request the Election Commission to enquire into it and unravel the truth. We will also lodge a formal complaint before the Election Commission,” said Nawang Rigzin Jora, Congress Legislature Party Leader.National Conference too demanded a statement from the government about the seizure of the huge cash in poll bound Anantnag. “The government should make a statement what was this cash meant for”, said Ali Mohammad Sagar, NC general secretary.Senior PDP leader and J&K minister for consumer affairs and public distribution Chaudhary Zulifikar, however, asked the opposition to lodge a complaint before the EC. “If you have a proof you should go to the EC,” he said.District development commissioner, Anantnag, Syed Abid Hussian Shah, however, said the cash has been accounted for and it belongs to the J&K bank Ashaji Pora branch.”Initially, the vehicle was taken in possession and elaborate enquiry was instituted. It was established that the cash was being transferred to the currency chest of J&K bank when the vehicle was stopped by a naka party.There is an adequate cash reserve number. The money stands deposited in the currency chest of J&K bank,” he said.Shah said the bank used the private car to shift the cash in a hurry. “There are RBI guidelines that the cash should be deposited in the chest before nightfall. In the hurry they used a private car to meet the deadline,” he said.
Curfew is imposed in parts of Jammu after crowds clash with police over alleged desecration of a Hindu temple.
Jammu: BJP, the alliance partner in Jammu and Kashmir government with PDP, on Monday said people of Jammu region are being neglected and discriminated despite repeated assurances from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
“The state government should honour the commitment made by former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and then by his daughter and the incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of the equitable development of all the three regions of the state”, state BJP leader Virender Gupta said.
He said Mehbooba had assured of development of all the regions and that the differences and the alienation existing between people of Jammu and those of Kashmir Valley would be eliminated.
“However, the fact of the matter is that the people of Jammu region are still feeling neglected and discriminated in the present regime,” Gupta said. He said the renovation work of Mubarak Mandi complex as Dogra Heritage is going on at a very slow pace and the ropeway project linking Mubarak Mandi with Bahu Fort is still in limbo.
“In the tourism sector, Jammu got merely 20-25 percent funds allocation and out of 13 newly identified tourist spots for development, Jammu has only four whereas rest are in Kashmir province”, he added. Gupta said that Jammu district which has 11 assembly constituencies was allotted Rs 200 crore whereas some of the districts having only one or two assembly constituencies have been provided almost same amount for the development.
This act is highly unjustified with no reasonable explanation, he added. He said that the Tawi Lake Project in Jammu which was scheduled to be completed in March, has been extended for two years. Gupta claimed no serious efforts are being made about the diversion of four streams carrying the city garbage in the Tawi river.
“In the allotment of indoor stadiums, out of 12 indoor stadiums envisaged only three are allocated to Jammu region and nine to Kashmir province with two in Ladakh. The BJP leader said the discrimination is being faced by the people of the region in the matter of development of roads, infrastructure, irrigation, agriculture and horticulture sector.
Gupta cautioned the government of a great resentment brewing among the people of Jammu province and therefore immediate steps need to be taken for the redressal of grievance of the people.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has been served a show cause notice by the Election Commission for alleged violation of model code of conduct while filing her nomination for the Anantnag Assembly seat bypoll. State Chief Electoral Officer Shantmanu said that the notice was served following objection that the car in which she had come on June 1 to file her nomination papers was carrying the national as well as the state flags, which is not allowed. The notice was issued to her on June 2, he said. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another objection that she was using an official car was overruled as she is a Z-plus protectee and is authorised to use an official vehicle, he said. Mehbooba is contesting the Anantnag bypoll to be held on June 22. The byelection was necessitated following the demise of her father and the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed here.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said the terror attacks in Anantnag district were an attempt to derail the peace and reconciliation process in Jammu and Kashmir as she paid homage to three BSF personnel who were killed in an ambush by militants near Bijbehara yesterday. Mehbooba, who visited the frontier headquarters of BSF at Humhama here, expressed anguish over the killing of two policemen in Anantnag town of south Kashmir today and said the recent attacks once again show the “desperate levels” to which the militants can go to “disrupt peace and normalcy” in the state. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She laid wreaths on the mortal remains of the jawans – Head Constable G K Shukla of 1022 RT Regiment, Head Constable Dinesh Giri of 1022 RT Regiment and Constable Mahinder Ram of 64 Battalion. “Violence is a zero sum game which does not solve any problem but gives rise to more complexities. Only the weak resort to killings,” she said. Mehbooba said the “perpetrators of bloodbath” must realise that political problems are not resolved through the gun and grenade. Dialogue and reconciliation are the only options for making headway in finding a solution,” she said. The Chief Minister expressed solidarity with Director General BSF, K K Sharma, who was present there. She conveyed her condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for peace to the departed souls. Recalling the sacrifices of the security forces in combating militancy in the state, Mehbooba said, “such dastardly acts of senseless violence are against the basic tenets of humanity and they should be condemned by one and all.”My heart goes out to the families of the slain BSF personnel and I hope the perpetrators will be taken to task soon.” The Chief Minister said such attacks were attempts by vested interests to “derail the peace and reconciliation process” started by the state government in Jammu and Kashmir which will also impact the economy at a time when the tourism activity had started picking up in the state. Director General of state Police K Rajendra Kumar, Inspector General of BSF Vikas Chandra, IG Police Kashmir, Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani, IGP Muneer Ahmad Khan, DIGs of BSF Rajendra Pandey, A S Asthana and Sudhir Kumar were present on the occasion.Besides, DIG Police Central Kashmir Range Ghulam Hassan Bhat, Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Mir Altaf Hussain, SSP Budgam Fayaz Ahmad and other senior officers of the civil and police administration were also present.