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Assembly adjourned amidst pandemonium
Jammu, March 9
The Speaker, Mr Tara Chand, today adjourned the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for the day amidst slogan shouting and pandemonium by the Opposition National Conference (NC).

Withdraw forces from J&K, says Mann
Srinagar, March 9
Seeking demilitirisation in Nagaland, Punjab and Kashmir, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, here today demanded the immediate withdrawal of the armed forces and repealing of special powers to them as these had no place in a civil and democratic society.

Ban on eggs goes
Srinagar, March 9
The Jammu and Kashmir Government has lifted the ban on the entry of eggs into the state, official sources said today.


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Assembly adjourned amidst pandemonium
Tribune News Service

Jammu, March 9
The Speaker, Mr Tara Chand, today adjourned the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for the day amidst slogan shouting and pandemonium by the Opposition National Conference (NC).

The NC members for the second day stalled the proceedings as soon as the House assembled in the morning and insisted that a house committee should be constituted to look into the issue of "backdoor" appointments and the Public Health Engineering Department allocating works without inviting tenders. The NC members were not satisfied with the announcement of the Speaker that he would allow an hour's discussion on the issue. The Opposition members insisted that nothing short of a House committee was acceptable to them.

They continued to raise slogans against the government and the replies of ministers to questions tabled by members were not audible in the din.

The Speaker first adjourned the House for 30 minutes and as there were noisy scenes when the house assembled again, Mr Tara Chand, adjourned the sitting for the day. Mr Ali Mohammad Sagar (NC) said that irregularities in allocating the works were being committed by the PHE Department throughout the state and were not confined only to Poonch district. Meanwhile, outside the House, the PHE minister, Qazi Mohammad Afzal, gave a list of 63 persons engaged by the department after the coalition government came to power in 2002 to mediapersons in which the names of those on whose recommendation these appointments have been done has also been mentioned.

The list signed by the Chief Engineer, PHE Department, claimed that one person was appointed on the recommendation of the Deputy Chief Minister, four on the recommendation of the PHE minister, three on the asking of the minister of state for PHE, the MLAs of Poonch, Surankot and Mendhar had recommended appointment of one, seven and eight persons, respectively. One appointment was made on the recommendation of Ms Farida Mir, MLC, the list claimed.

In the Legislative Council, the Minister In Charge Revenue said that a cash assistance of Rs 140.26 crore and free rations worth Rs 22.10 crore has been given to the Kashmiri migrants by the government during the past three years between 2003 to 2006.

The minister was replying to a question tabled by Mr Ghulam Nabi Shaheen, Mr Ghulam Nabi Lone and Mr Bilal Ahmad Lodhi. The minister said that out of the total number of 21,684 registered migrant families, 19,338 were living in Delhi, 929 in Haryana, 500 in Uttar Pradesh, 319 in Punjab, 208 in Maharashtra, 169 in Madhya Pradesh, 114 in Chandigarh, 58 in Rajasthan, 38 in Karnataka and 11 in Himachal Pradesh.

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Withdraw forces from J&K, says Mann
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, March 9
Seeking demilitirisation in Nagaland, Punjab and Kashmir, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president, Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, here today demanded the immediate withdrawal of the armed forces and repealing of special powers to them as these had no place in a civil and democratic society.

Mr Mann was addressing a press conference here this morning after his day-long visit to Dudipora village near Handwara, where four youths had been allegedly killed by the security forces on February 22 last. He alleged that no action had been taken against those guilty and instead there was a covert encouragement for such incidents of the killing of innocent persons in Kashmir.

The SAD (A) president demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident of the killing of four youths, who were allegedly shot dead while playing cricket.

Referring to his meeting with the parents of those killed at Dudipora, Mr Mann claimed that one of the youths, who had passed class XII was keen to join the National Defence Academy.

He added that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi or former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee did “not look at such sentiments”. He held that this was state terrorism and such killings violated the very spirit of the Geneva Convention.

Mr Mann expressed concern over the alleged violation of human rights and excesses by the security forces in Kashmir, adding that only false claims were being made by the government. He pointed out that cultural life of the valley was also being affected as a number of educational institutions were occupied by the security forces. He extended his party’s fullest support to the “right of self-determination” to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and questioned the debate over self-rule. 

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Ban on eggs goes

Srinagar, March 9
The Jammu and Kashmir Government has lifted the ban on the entry of eggs into the state, official sources said today.

However, the ban on the entry of poultry, poultry products, pigs and piggery products into the state would continue, they added.

The sources said the government, in its order yesterday, lifted the prohibition on the entry of eggs into the state in the first instance.

The state administration had on February 20 imposed a ban on the entry of eggs, poultry, poultry products, pigs and piggery products into the state following the outbreak of bird flu in Maharashtra and Gujarat. — UNI

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