|Monday, July 10, 2000,
Parliamentary panel meets J&K
Talks can start with groups: Bhat
Four militants shot in encounter
Amarnath cave yatra
starts from July 13
Border villagers to block traffic
Parliamentary panel meets J&K
JAMMU, July 9 Members of the Parliamentary standing committee (PSC) on Home Affairs, led by Mr Pranab Mukherjee, were categorically told by prominent leaders of the BJP, the Congress, the JD(U), the BSP and others that the demand for the restoration of greater autonomy to the state, raised by the National Conference, was fraught with serious consequences.
The PSC members, who were on a two-day visit to Jammu, interacted with several political and social organisations. While the National Conference delegation led by Mr Bodh Raj Bali tried to convince the committee members that the demand for the restoration of the pre-1953 constitutional status was not aimed at reversing the states accession with India those belonging to the Congress and the BJP informed the committee that if the state returned to the 1952 status it would jeopardise the states security and integrity.
Mr Mangat Ram Sharma, Mr Dharam Pal Sharma of the Congress informed the committee that the present security situation in the state was grim and raising the demand for autonomy could lead to bigger security and political problems.
The BJP leaders, including the president, Mr D.K. Kotwal, Mr Hans Raj Dogra and Mr Piara Singh, informed the committee that instead of concentrating on the development works and on improving amenities, including the supply of power and drinking water, the National Conference government had raised the autonomy demand to divert the attention of the people from the real problems.
Mr Piara Singh submitted
a detailed letter to the committee listing areas where
the Kashmiri Muslims had been assisted by the state
government in constructing palatial houses to alter
the demographic character of Jammu. He told the
committee that more than 35,000 houses were under
JAMMU, July 9 Prof Chaman Lal Gupta has impressed upon the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah and his associates to learn from history and give up the unrealistic demand for autonomy.
Referring to the statement of Dr Farooq Abdullah that his party, the National Conference would continue to struggle for autonomy and pre-1953 position even after rejection of the resolution by the Union Cabinet, Prof Gupta said that Dr Farooq would be well advised to learn from the past as if it was impossible to have plebiscite, it is far more impractical to put the clock 50 years back.
He said if late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah could not achieve his objective despite there being the powerful support of the then Prime Minister, Mr Jawaharlal Nehru, for his friend it was far more unrealistic to expect anything now.
He further said that the country was strong enough to resist the retrograde and separatist move and added that Dr Farooq could get to the moon but not back to the position of 1952-53, when there was totally a despotic and one party rule wherein no pro-India opposition was allowed to function. He questioned that if Dr Farooq wanted pre-1953 status then what would happen if any kin of late Maharaja Hari Singh would start demanding the pre-1947 status when there was dynastic rule? Will the National Conference agree to it?
Prof Gupta said that need of the hour was that all nationalist and pro-India forces should sink differences and work for fighting the crossborder terrorism and restore peace.
In the situation the
foremost duty of the State Government should be to look
after the suffering people and sort out their problems
like that of rehabilitation, providing electricity,
drinking water, shelter to the displaced persons,
employment to the starving lot instead of wasting time
and energy as also the funds on raising the slogans of
autonomy and avoidable heat and also regional and
Talks can start with groups: Bhat
SRINAGAR, July 9 (PTI) There can be no solution in Kashmir through guns and there is no alternative to dialogue, according to Amir Jamaat-i-Islami in Kashmir, Ghulam Mohd Bhat.
Maintaining that talks between the Centre and groups in Jammu and Kashmir could have bright prospects, the Jamaat chief, whose organisation has often been dubbed as ultra-fundamentalist, said 12 years of bloodshed in the State had proved the point that there was no second option to dialogue.
Even when armies fight, the solution has to be tackled on the negotiation table, Bhat told PTI when asked what his organisations stand was on the moves for talks by the Centre adding that time had now come to open serious talks on the future of Kashmir.
He said once the dialogue was underway, the only confusion could be how to work out a ceasefire in the State. Much efforts would have to be made to bring this about as a ceasefire should be a pre-requisite to any talks, he said.
Bhat said though talks could initially be between the Centre and groups in Jammu and Kashmir, later Pakistan would have to be involved as it was a party to what he called the Kashmir dispute.
The Jamaat chief for the first time admitted that his organisation had been unable to expand its base in the State even after what he called alienation of the people from India as well as the State administration.
He sought to blame this on what he called the State administration illegally seeking to curb legitimate political activities of Opposition groups. The so-called Special Task Force of the State police is targeting the Jamaat cadre and committing excesses against our ranks, he claimed.
The Jamaat, at its peak, bagged 8 per cent of the votes, winning six seats in 1983 elections to the State Assembly. Earlier, its strength had fluctuated from one to three seats.
Asked if Jamaat, whose militant wing Hizbul Mujahideen is a dominant insurgent group in Jammu and Kashmir, had been able to expand its base for the past 12 years, the Jamaat chief replied in the negative.
Calling for revival of political activity in the State, Bhat said this would help in even bringing militant ranks overground. The roots of militancy lay in the denial of legitimate rights of free expression to the youth in 1987 and subsequent elections, he said.
The Jamaat chief who recently came out in open disagreement with the Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelanis open advocacy of jehad in Kashmir flayed the recent remarks of Home Minister L.K. Advani saying that talks with groups in Kashmir could be held only within the ambit of the Constitution.
This amounts to putting conditions on the dialogue, Bhat said adding any talks in Kashmir should be held without conditions.
Bhat said the Jamaat had been painted as a villain by vested interests. My group stands for humanity and racial amity. We are engaged in the field of education and providing humanitarian relief in the State, he said.
The Jamaat chief said the organisation had been often misunderstood with ulterior motives attached to its legitimate activities. It is time that people stopped seeing us with jaundiced eyes, he said.
Asked to comment on what
relationship the Jamaat had with the Hizbul Mujahideen,
Bhat sought to parry the question merely saying our
youth took to guns when they were denied basic rights and
Four militants shot in encounter
SRINAGAR, July 9 (PTI, UNI) The police repulsed a militant attack on its post in Jammu and Kashmir, where 10 persons, including five militants and a woman, were killed in militancy-related violence since last evening, an official spokesman said today.
Four militants and a civilian were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Pahloo-Kulgam in Anantnag district today, the spokesman said.
Another militant was killed in a fire-fight with the police at Malbagh in Srinagar last night, the spokesman said.
Militants attacked a Special Operation Group (SOG) post at Malhoti in Doda district last evening. The fire was returned but no one was injured in the exchange of fire. The militants escaped, he said.
The police picked up the bullet-riddled body of a storekeeper of the Food and Supplies Department at Nund Resh colony in Bemina in Srinagar today.
Militants kidnapped and subsequently killed a civilian in Tulwari-Vilgam in Kupwara district yesterday.
Militants barged into the house of a woman in Rajouri district and shot her dead yesterday, he said.
The bullet-riddled body of an unidentified person was picked up from the outskirts of Doda district last evening.
He said a militant was nabbed during a raid on a militant hideout at Bandibala-Magam in Baramula district yesterday. An AK rifle, five magazines, 125 rounds and eight grenades were seized.
JAMMU: Troops of the Romeo Force foiled a militants plan to set off blasts when they defused two powerful improvised explosive devices (IEDs) near Surrankote in Poonch district last evening, a Defence Ministry spokesman said here on Sunday.
He said unidentified militants planted two powerful IEDs at Sangala village dhara near Surrankote to target security forces patrol parties.
Habba Khatoon presented
SRINAGAR, July 9 In its efforts to revive bhand pather, a traditional folk theatre of Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Akademi of Art, Culture and Languages presented a play Habba Khatoon at Tagore Hall here yesterday.
The Luka Theatre, Bumai, Sopore, made a good attempt to project the pathos of Habba Khatoon, a renowned lyricist of Kashmir. The poetry of Habba Khatoon has melody and passion of Kashmirs countryside.
The play was designed and directed by Mohammad Yusuf. He was assisted by Mohammad Delawar Bhat. The cast included Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, Ghulam Mohiuddin Bhat, Mohammad Yusuf Bhat, Ghulam Hassan Bhat and Ghulam Mohammad Bhat.
The play was financed by the Ministry of Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports, Department of Culture, Government of India, a spokesman for the Akademi said.
Among those who saw the
play were Mr Balwant Thakur, Secretary of the Akademi of
Art, Culture and Languages, Mr Merajuddin, Additional
Secretary of the Akademi and Mr Moti Lal Kemmu, a
prominent Kashmiri writer.
Amarnath cave yatra starts from
SRINAGAR, July 9 Nearly 1.20 lakh pilgrims are expected to go on annual pilgrimage to Amarnath cave in the upper reaches of Pahalgam in Anantnag district, which starts from July 13. The yatra will continue till August 15, when it concludes coinciding with Raksha Bandhan. Nearly 3000 pilgrims would be allowed from Pahalgam to the cave while 500 yatris will be permitted for darshan of the holy cave shrine via Baltal daily.
This was stated at a high-level meeting of the officers headed by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Mr Khursheed Ahmad Ganai at Pahalgam on Friday. It was informed that about 18000 yatris will be on the track from Chandanwari to holy cave while 10,000 yatris are expected to accompany the Chhari Mubarak or the holy mace. Giving this information, the Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, Mr G.A. Peer, who is also the Yatra Officer, said that the base camp for registration of ponies, tents, labourers and dandies would start functioning at Chandanwari from July 12.
The meeting was also attended by the Commissioner/Secretary Tourism, Mr Parvez Dewan and senior police officers including the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, Dr Ashok Bhan. The meeting was told that the departments concerned would set up camps at Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Panjtarni and holy cave. The Health Department, the meeting was told, will set up 14 medical camps en route Yatra via Pahalgam and seven camps via Baltal. The Deputy Commissioner said that Degree College, Anantnag will be set up as transit camp for yatris where adequate necessary arrangements will be available. He said R&B department had made necessary repairs on the road up to Chandanwari while Pahalgam Project Organisation (PPO) had also completed a repair work on the track leading to holy cave.
The meeting was informed that the Food and Supplies Department will ensure availability of adequate stock of essential commodities like rice, flour, sugar, LPG, wheat bran and kerosene at various halting places. The JK Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) and private agencies will pitch tents en route the yatra for accommodating yatris and officials deployed on duty. The PDD and PHE departments have also made adequate arrangements of electricity and potable drinking water. For this purpose generator sets and water tankers, will also be pressed into service.
The Telecommunication department will ensure prompt communication regarding weather forecast, arrival and departure of yatris to Police Control Room (PCR) and Information Department for onward transmission to print and electronic media and other agencies.
security, traffic regulation and other related
arrangements were also reviewed. A management group was
constituted at the meeting to meet any exigency arising
due to any natural calamity.
Border villagers to block
JAMMU, July 9 Several hundred border villagers from the R.S. Pora sector have threatened that they would intensify their agitation if the government did not accept their demands.
The border villagers marched to R.S. Pora town yesterday and occupied a portion of the research centre premises of the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) threatening that they would not vacate the campus if they were not given relief and compensation.
The border villagers have been demanding relief for those whose houses were damaged in the Pak firing and for those who could not carry out farming in the last year over two years.
The protesters said several innocent people had been killed and others injured in Pak firing but the government had failed to concede their demand for relief to the affected families.
The demonstrators criticised the government for not providing power to scores of border villages. Ashok Kumar of RS Pora said in several villages electricity was available for two hours only.
He said 24 villages in R.S. Pora were within the firing range of Pak gunners. And the past three days about 1,200 persons from 11 of the 24 villages had migrated.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |