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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R    E D I T I O N

SCs, STs not getting quota benefit due to Article 370: BJP
Jammu, December 25
To counter those opposed to the abrogation of Article 370, the BJP has devised a new strategy to rope in the members of the marginalised and weaker sections of society to muster support for its campaign against the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Special prayers mark Christmas
Jammu, December 25
Christmas was celebrated with gaiety and fervour here today. Special prayers were offered in all churches of the city.

A man carrying his child prays in front of Jesus Christ’s idol on Christmas in a church in Jammu on Saturday; and (right) a girl prays to Mother Mary

A man carrying his child prays in front of Jesus Christ’s idol on Christmas in a church in Jammu on Saturday; and (right) a girl prays to Mother Mary. Tribune photos: Anand Sharma

Exercise under way to save 34,000 rare manuscripts
Peerzada M. Ashraf, Deputy Director and project coordinator, Manuscripts Resource Centre, makes preparations for the display of rare manuscripts at the Kala Kendra in Jammu Jammu, December 25
A massive exercise is on in the state to save rare manuscripts (pandulipies) under the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM). As many as 34,000 manuscripts, each of them rare in their own sense that would have been lost otherwise, have been found and registered.


Peerzada M. Ashraf, Deputy Director and project coordinator, Manuscripts Resource Centre, makes preparations for the display of rare manuscripts at the Kala Kendra in Jammu Tribune photo: Anand Sharma







YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar




EARLIER STORIES

BJP workers celebrate the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Jammu on Saturday.
BJP workers celebrate the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Jammu on Saturday. Photo: Inderjeet Singh

Rehbar-e-Taleem teacher booked for raping student
Jammu, December 25
A Rehbar-e-Taleem teacher of Government Primary School at Baroh in the Kalakote area of Rajouri district allegedly raped a Class VIII student of the school on the pretext of giving her a notebook, after taking her to his house.

Army opens kindergarten in Rajouri
Jammu, December 25
The Army has opened a kindergarten in Rajouri to prepare children from remote areas of the district for primary schooling.

Revocation of ban on SMS may hit sale of greeting cards
Jammu, December 25
The revocation of the ban on the SMS facility has brought happiness to the post-paid mobile phone customers of the state, as they are now sending Christmas greetings to their near and dear ones by utilising the service. They can also use the facility to send New Year greetings.

Priests greet Governor on Christmas
Jammu, December 25
The Believers Church Diocesan Leader, Father Jagan Mohan Rao, called on Governor NN Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here this evening. Father Rao, accompanied by Father Bunty, Father John Auxon and Father Abhishek, conveyed the Christmas greetings to the Governor.

Artists perform during a street play on rising prices in Jammu on Saturday.
Artists perform during a street play on rising prices in Jammu on Saturday. Photo: Inderjeet Singh

10-day NSS camp begins
Jammu, December 25
A 10-day special NSS camp having the theme “National Integration and Communal Harmony” commenced at Government Maulana Azad Memorial College here today.

Absconder in bank fraud case held
Jammu, December 25
CBI sleuths arrested an absconder here yesterday against whom a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued in a fraud case by a local court about six months ago.

800 attend Army’s medical camp
Jammu, December 25
Under the aegis of the Bhimber Gali Brigade, the Ace of Spades Division organised a medical camp in Keri village of Rajouri district today.

MBBS, postgraduate medical seats to be raised: Chib
Srinagar, December 25
The number of MBBS and postgraduate seats in all medical colleges in the state are being raised and the matter has been taken up with the Central government for the purpose and necessary relevant documents with technical recommendations have been submitted to the forum concerned.

Nephews attack man over land dispute
Jammu, December 25
The police arrested two boys who allegedly attacked their uncle with some sharp-edged weapons over a land dispute at Lahiyanvillage in RS Pura here today. It said both families had attacked each other earlier also.

Militant killed in Kupwara
Srinagar, December 25
A militant was killed in an encounter with the security forces in the forests of the Kandi belt in Kupwara district today.






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SCs, STs not getting quota benefit due
to Article 370: BJP

Dinesh Manhotra
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 25
To counter those opposed to the abrogation of Article 370, the BJP has devised a new strategy to rope in the members of the marginalised and weaker sections of society to muster support for its campaign against the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

While arguing for the revocation of Article 370, all senior leaders of the party in the Ekta Sankalap Rally yesterday pointed towards the denial of full benefits of the reservation policy to the Schedule Castes (SC), Schedule Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) residing in the state due to the special status of the state.

“It is unfortunate that weaker sections of society are not getting their constitutional rights due to the special status of the state,” said former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani while highlighting some issues relating to the SCs, STs and OBCs of the state. Advani especially mentioned that the STs in other parts of the country were enjoying the benefit of political reservation but in Jammu and Kashmir this benefit was not given to them due to Article 370.

The BJP leadership has a reason to rope in the weaker sections in its campaign against the special status of the state.

Unlike other parts of the country, the OBCs in Jammu and Kashmir, a majority of them Muslims, are not getting the benefits of reservation because the recommendations of the Mandal Commission have not been implemented in the state.

In other parts of the country 27 per cent reservation is being given to the OBCs as per the direction of the Supreme Court, but the same is not being implemented in the state due to Article 370.

The OBCs are getting only 2 per cent reservation in government jobs and the BJP has decided to make it a issue to rope in weaker sections. Similarly, the STs are getting political reservation in other parts of the country, but the same provision has not been implemented in the state due to its special status.

“It is all due to Article 370 that the OBCs are not getting the benefits of reservation while their counterparts in other parts of the country have been availing of these privileges given to them by the Indian Constitution,” argued BJP national president Nitin Gadkari.

He added that the weaker sections were the worst victims of the special status of the state.

Gadkari asserted that without scrapping Article 370, it was not possible for the OBCs and other weaker sections to get the benefits of reservation.

During the one-day meeting of the party office-bearers in Jammu today, the BJP leaders interacted with the representatives of various delegations of the weaker sections of society.

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Special prayers mark Christmas
Tribune News Service

A woman puts up incense sticks at a wall on the premises of a church on the occasion of Christmas in Srinagar on Saturday.
A woman puts up incense sticks at a wall on the premises of a church on the occasion of Christmas in Srinagar on Saturday. — PTI

Jammu, December 25
Christmas was celebrated with gaiety and fervour here today. Special prayers were offered in all churches of the city.

The churches were illuminated on the occasion. The Christmas tree was decorated with stars, balloons and colourful buntings in all churches.

The St Mary Garrison Church, Gandhi Nagar, witnessed a huge rush of devotees for special prayers. Meanwhile, hawkers and joyride operators claimed to have earned a lot of money on the occasion.

While talking to The Tribune, Raj Pal, a joyride operator, who witnessed a huge rush of customers near the Gandhi Nagar Church, said, “Usually, I earn Rs 100 to Rs 200 a day, but today I have earned around Rs 2,000”.

Expressing similar views, Vishal, another joyride operator, said, “Normally, I earn well only during festivals and marriage seasons. Otherwise, I earn a little despite wandering throughout the day.”

Bimla Rani, who was selling posters near a church at a Christian colony, said, “I have four children who study in a government school. My husband is a sweeper and I sell posters and sceneries to earn our livelihood. I usually earn about Rs 100 a day and today I earned Rs 800.” Men dressed as Santa Claus were seen distributing sweets and candies among children everywhere in the city.

Srinagar: The festival of Christmas was celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety in the Kashmir valley today, as members of the Christian community thronged various churches in the area to offer special prayers. Army personnel and Kashmir residents celebrated Christmas at the Sarv Dharmsthal in the Army Garrison BB Cantt.

A high Mass was offered by the Parish Priest of Srinagar, followed by carol singing. The Santa Claus distributed presents and gifts among children. The occasion was graced by the Chief of Staff, Chinar Corps, Major Gen SK Khajuria and other senior officers of the garrison.

“Despite the severe weather it was heartening to see young and old of all faiths coming to celebrate the auspicious day of Christmas spirit,” an Army spokesman said. Major Gen Khajuria wished all families a ‘very Happy Christmas’ and prosperity in New Year.

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Exercise under way to save 34,000 rare manuscripts
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 25
A massive exercise is on in the state to save rare manuscripts (pandulipies) under the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM). As many as 34,000 manuscripts, each of them rare in their own sense that would have been lost otherwise, have been found and registered.

The value of this “ignored” treasure can be gauged from the fact that it is just 40 per cent of the manuscripts which are likely to be found in the state.

The Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums, Jammu, which is the project coordinator of the Manuscript Resources Centre set up by the NMM, has called upon the people to save such rare manuscripts and help the department in collecting them.

To underline the importance of these handwritten documents, which narrate the story of the mankind in this part of the world, the Department of Archives along with the Department of Culture and the Abrol Manuscripts and Rare books Library is organising a first ever workshop from December 27 to 31 on how to effectively conserve these rare documents of history.

Peerzada M. Ashraf, Deputy Director and project coordinator, Manuscripts Resource Centre, told The Tribune that many rare manuscripts in remote areas like Paddar, Madwah, Vadwan, Michel, Gurez, Tangdar, Uri, Shopian, Rajouri, Poonch, Bani and Basohli were likely to be registered soon.

“This workshop will have 45 participants from different parts of the country. It will make a valuable contribution in preserving the manuscripts and learning the same from experts as well,” he added.

The Director of the National Mission for Manuscripts, Prof Dipti S Tripathi, would inaugurate the five-day workshop.

The Abrol Manuscript and Rare Books Library is having a collection of more than 3,500 manuscripts and 550 rare books. Besides, the collection consists of rare paintings, coins, ethnic jewellery, textiles and a number of antiques. Peerzada said these items were of immense tourism importance and would go a long way in improving tourism flow to Jammu.

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Rehbar-e-Taleem teacher booked for raping student
Archit Watts
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 25
A Rehbar-e-Taleem teacher of Government Primary School at Baroh in the Kalakote area of Rajouri district allegedly raped a Class VIII student of the school on the pretext of giving her a notebook, after taking her to his house.

Police sources said the 13-year-old girl, a resident of Ghrat village, filed a complaint against the teacher saying that she went to Baroh on December 23 and the teacher met her there. He took her to his house and raped her.

“In the complaint, the girl has stated that the teacher told her that he would give her a notebook at his house. But he raped her there,” they said.

A case under Section 376 of the RPC was registered against the teacher, Nasir Iqbal, at present residing at Baroh village. He is a permanent resident of Gujjar Mandi in Rajouri town.

“Investigations are on and the medical report of the victim is awaited. We have also launched a hunt to nab the accused,” said a police officer at Kalakote police station.

Some locals said after the incident the entire area was gripped with tension, as the accused and the victim belonged to different communities. It has been learnt that the residents of this border district are very sensitive, as a number of communal clashes have taken place earlier following such incidents.

“Keeping this in view, the police patrol has been beefed up and the investigating officers in the case have been directed to arrest the accused at the earliest,” the officer said.

However, till the filing of this report the accused was still at large.

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Army opens kindergarten in Rajouri
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 25
The Army has opened a kindergarten in Rajouri to prepare children from remote areas of the district for primary schooling.

This nursery school caters to villages like Jhangar, Sariya, Makri, Sher, Namb and Karhali located close to the LoC, said an Army spokesperson. Villagers of these areas faced hardships due to poor infrastructure and lack of basic amenities like medical services, water supply and basic education facilities, he added.

The spokesperson said the lack of infrastructure for providing proper education to children had been the main concern of the people there. “Till recently, there was no nursery school in the vicinity of these villages, though primary or middle schools existed in the area,” he added.

In spite of various schemes for the promotion of education, nursery schooling had remained a neglected area, he added.

Subsequently, the Army undertook the responsibility of opening a kindergarten school at Jhangar village. It was done on the demand of the locals made to the GOC, Ace of Spades Division, on his visit to Jhangar on October 10, said the spokesperson.

The basic framework and planning for opening the school was immediately started by the Naushera Brigade and registration commenced on November 1. A total of 40 children were enrolled. Two women teachers were also employed.

Finally, Goodwill Nursery School was inaugurated on November 8 and students were presented uniforms and kits, including books and water bottles, by the Naoshera Brigade, he said.

“Earlier, several other projects were carried out by the Army. But nothing was initiated for the education of children. We thank the Army for its support in all fields, especially for opening a school for our children,” said Bala Ram, a resident of Jhangar.

The school project was conceptualised and implemented in a record time. The project ensured that children from the remote villages were not deprived of basic education, which was their right. The step taken by the Army would go a long way in meeting the aspirations of the locals, added the spokesperson.

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Revocation of ban on SMS may hit
sale of greeting cards

Sunaina Kaul
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 25
The revocation of the ban on the SMS facility has brought happiness to the post-paid mobile phone customers of the state, as they are now sending Christmas greetings to their near and dear ones by utilising the service. They can also use the facility to send New Year greetings.

Devanand Gill, a post-paid mobile phone customer, said, “After a gap of around six months the state government has revoked the ban on the SMS facility. It has cheered up the post-paid mobile phone customers of the state.”

However, the ban on the facility for the pre-paid mobile phone customers was still to be revoked, thus leaving them disappointed. “Most of the pre-paid customers have no option but to greet their friends and relatives either by sending greeting cards or wishing them on phone. That is comparatively costlier than sending SMS,” said Ritu Verma, a pre-paid mobile phone customer.

“Sending greetings to friends and relatives on festivals through SMS is cheap,” said Varun Abrol, who was purchasing a greeting card. While coming out of a shop, Madhu Sharma, another pre-paid customer, said, “The post-paid customers are lucky, as they can now greet people on Christmas and New Year by sending SMSes. However, we have no option but to send greeting cards to our friends to greet them on Christmas and New Year.”

Meanwhile, some greeting card sellers also expressed disappointment, as their business might get affected because of the partial resumption of the SMS facility. While talking to The Tribune, Ram Pal, a greeting card seller, said, “I earned huge profits on the occasion of festivals earlier this year, particularly on Diwali. Keeping in view the previous sales of greeting cards, I had purchased greetings cards in abundance for sale on Christmas and New Year.”

He added, “Unfortunately, the government has lifted the ban on the SMS facility for the post-paid customers all of a sudden and this may affect my business this time.” However, the continuation of the ban on pre-paid customers is still giving them hope of selling greeting cards in good quantity.

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Priests greet Governor on Christmas
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 25
The Believers Church Diocesan Leader, Father Jagan Mohan Rao, called on Governor NN Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here this evening. Father Rao, accompanied by Father Bunty, Father John Auxon and Father Abhishek, conveyed the Christmas greetings to the Governor.

On the joyous occasion of Christmas, the Governor greeted the Reverend Fathers and prayed that the auspicious day would mark the speedy strengthening of the fraternal bonds of communal harmony, peace and amity in all parts of the state.

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10-day NSS camp begins
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 25
A 10-day special NSS camp having the theme “National Integration and Communal Harmony” commenced at Government Maulana Azad Memorial College here today.

Prof Sham Lal Gupta, director, Department of Higher Education, inaugurated the programme.

Addressing NSS volunteers, Prof Gupta urged them to inculcate moral and ethical values to understand the true meaning of life.

The main focus of his address was on the role of volunteers in the overall development of human resources.

Gupta asked the students to act as ambassadors for national integration and communal harmony and appreciated the efforts of the college for organising the camp.

Three volunteers, Zeenat Khan, Amjad Hussain and Sachin Sharma, made their presentations on the aims and objectives of the NSS.

The programme started with the lighting of a traditional lamp and the presentation of an NSS song.

The programme was conducted by NSS volunteer Ishtaq Ahmad while the vote of thanks was presented by Prof Yasmeen Mughal, NSS programme officer.

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Absconder in bank fraud case held
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 25
CBI sleuths arrested an absconder here yesterday against whom a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued in a fraud case by a local court about six months ago.

Sources said Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Dablehar village in RS Pura, was wanted in a fraud case at the Kachi Chawani branch of the SBI.

They added that he was arrested from the Janipur area here.

In April, the CBI had unearthed a fraud of Rs 75 lakh in the SBI and booked two partners of a rice mill, Revenue officials, and bank officials, among others, for the alleged fraud. Pritam Singh and Jaswinder Singh, both partners in the rice mill, Dablehar, had approached the Kachi Chawani branch of the SBI in November 2006 for a loan of Rs 80 lakh to install a rice sheller, the sources said.

They added that both accused had attached fake revenue documents and since then Jaswinder had been absconding.

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800 attend Army’s medical camp
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 25
Under the aegis of the Bhimber Gali Brigade, the Ace of Spades Division organised a medical camp in Keri village of Rajouri district today.

Around 800 persons from neighbouring villages availed of the services of a physician, surgeon, gynaecologist, paediatrician and a dentist. Besides distributing medicines free of cost to the locals, stalls of the Canteen Stores Department were also established to render canteen facilities to ex-servicemen.

The Commander of the Bhimber Gali Brigade and the Commanding Officer of the Keri Battalion interacted with the local residents and asked them to make the best use of the facilities available in the medical camp.

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MBBS, postgraduate medical seats to be raised: Chib

Srinagar, December 25
The number of MBBS and postgraduate seats in all medical colleges in the state are being raised and the matter has been taken up with the Central government for the purpose and necessary relevant documents with technical recommendations have been submitted to the forum concerned.

This was announced by Minister for Medical Education RS Chib while addressing the annual day function of the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences here today.

Chib said the government had initiated several measures for the further strengthening of infrastructure in the medical sector by providing sufficient manpower and medical equipment. — TNS

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Nephews attack man over land dispute

Jammu, December 25
The police arrested two boys who allegedly attacked their uncle with some sharp-edged weapons over a land dispute at Lahiyanvillage in RS Pura here today. It said both families had attacked each other earlier also.

The incident took place around 1 pm today when Bhagwan Singh was working in his fields and his nephews attacked him with some sharp-edged weapons, the police said.

It added that Bhagwan sustained severe injuries and was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital. His condition is said to be critical.

The accused, Satpal Singh and Raj Kumar, were arrested under Sections 142 and 307 of the RPC.

HS Gill, SDPO, RS Pura, said Bhagwan had earlier killed the father of Satpal and Raj Kumar and today they attacked him.” — TNS

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Militant killed in Kupwara
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 25
A militant was killed in an encounter with the security forces in the forests of the Kandi belt in Kupwara district today.

“A joint party of the police and the Army cordoned off Phrooltib Gali in Kandi forest of Kupwara and launched searches this morning. Militants hiding there opened fire on the troops, which was retaliated. An encounter ensued and a militant was killed,” a police spokesman said.

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