|J A M M U C
& CK A S H M I R
Friday, April 16, 1999
IEDs found: major tragedy
Fall of BJP govt will be
historical blunder: Farooq
promises copter service to Vaishno Devi
Karan Singh accused of selling
Another cinema house reopens
IEDs found: major tragedy averted
SRINAGAR, April 15 (PTI) Eleven persons, including four militants have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening, an official spokesman said here today.
Security forces also averted major tragedies with the timely detection of two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and a rocket in Jammu and Kashmir during the period.
Militants intruded into a residential house in Doda district last night and fired at the inmates killing two of them. The security forces shot dead an unidentified militant during an encounter in the Kishtwar area last night, the spokesman said.
Three militants were killed in an encounter at Baramula district of north Kashmir last night.
A police officer was gunned down by unidentified militants in Rajouri district last evening.
Elsewhere, militants shot dead three persons in different parts of the state last night, the spokesman said, adding a former militant was also gunned down by terrorists at his house in Srinagar last night.
A Defence Ministry spokesman said the IED, containing 25 kg of deadly RDX explosive, was found in the courtyard of a house in Handwara village of Kupwara early today.
The IED, which was in the shape of a cylinder, was defused, thus averting a major disaster, he said.
Fall of BJP govt will be
historical blunder: Farooq
JAMMU, April 15 National Conference chief and the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir state, Dr Farooq Abdullah, has said it will be unfortunate and a historical blunder if the BJP-led Government lost power at the Centre.
Referring to the vote of confidence the Vajpayee government had been forced by the Opposition to seek in the Lok Sabha, Dr Abdullah said at a function in Kathua district today that he had decided to support the BJP because it had provided a good government.
He said many people had asked him as to why as a Muslim he had supported a communal party like the BJP and his reply to them was that the BJP was no longer a communal organisation. It carried Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs together and it was the first ruling party at the Centre that tried to narrow down differences with Pakistan.
He said by undertaking a bus journey to Lahore, Mr Vajpayee had broken the ice between India and Pakistan and Pakistan Prime Minister, Mr Nawaz Sharif had welcomed Mr Vajpayee's visit and the goodwill gesture.
Dr Abdullah said many Prime Ministers including Mr I.K. Gujral, spoke much on the need for promoting friendly relations with Pakistan but they did nothing practical and it was only Mr Vajpayee who took a bold stand.
Make Art 370 permanent: panel
JAMMU, April 15 The State Autonomy Committee in its report has recommended that Article 370, which gives Jammu and Kashmir a special position, not be treated as temporary.
The committee has recommended that the word "temporary" be deleted from the title of XXI of the Constitution and the word "temporary" occurring in the heading of Article 370 be substituted by the word "special".
It said matters in the Union List not connected with defence, external affairs, and communications, but made applicable to the state, should be excluded from their application to Jammu and Kashmir. And all modifications made in Article 246 in its application to the state, subsequent to the 1950 order, be rescinded. In addition to this, Articles 248, 249, 250 and 251, whether applied in original or modified form, should be omitted in relation to Jammu and Kashmir. Similarly Articles 262 and 263 which were not applicable under the 1950 order, but were later extended to the state should "cease" to apply.
Regarding the extension of emergency proclamation, the committee has recommended that in case the state legislature did not approve of the application of emergency to the state, it should be revoked.
It said amendments in the state Constitution, relating to the change of nomenclature of the head of the state and the state executive, and the mode of appointment of the head of the state should be repealed and original provisions of the state Constitution be restored. This would mean the Restoration of the nomenclature of "sadr-e-riyasat" in place of the Governor and "wazir azam" in place of the Chief Minister. Also, the amendment sought would mean election of the "sadr-e-riyasat" by the state legislature.
In short, the committee recommended that the provisions of the Constitution in the Second Schedule and the matters specified in the First Schedule, application to Jammu and Kashmir order, 1950, and the matters agreed to by representatives of the state and union vide the Delhi Agreement of 1952 should continue to apply to the state, subject to the same exceptions and modifications as were specified in the said order and the Delhi Agreement. All those provisions of the Constitution, applied to the state in full or in part, or in a modified form, after the Delhi Agreement be rescinded.
Another major recommendation by the committee was that the changes made in the state Constitution vide amendments of 1959 and 1965, be repealed and the original provisions of the Constitution of the state as adopted by the state constituent Assembly on November 17, 1956, be restored.
The committee had explained the gradual erosion that had taken place in the autonomous character of the state which it had enjoyed under the Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh. It stated that the only way to ensure the restoration of autonomy to the state was to accept and honour the spirit of the Instrument of Accession, Constitution Application Order and the Delhi Agreement.
It came to the conclusion that several central laws and provisions of the Constitution were applied and extended to Jammu and Kashmir through presidential proclamation under the cover of Article 370.
The state government
would send the report to several states, colleges,
institutions and generate a debate. Later it would hold a
special session of the state legislature and discuss the
report after it was accepted by the legislature, it would
be the forwarded to the Centre.
Abdullah promises copter service
to Vaishno Devi
JAMMU, April 15 The Jammu and Kashmir Government will start a helicopter service to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine. Similar facility is also proposed for the Amarnath cave in the Kashmir valley.
While laying the foundation stone of a Rs 25 crore-four-star hotel at Katra yesterday, the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, said a two engine helicopter would be procured for the pilgrims. He added that experts would examine if the Mantalai air-strip could be used for small aircraft.
The Chief Minister said a board on the pattern of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board would be constituted for creating infrastructural facilities for the Amarnath shrine. A Bill in this regard was likely to be introduced in the Assembly, he added.
Yesteryear filmstar-turned politician Mr Rajesh Khanna, presided over the function, while the Minister for Industries and Commerce, Mr Bodh Raj Bali, and the Minister for Forests, Choudhry Mohammad Ramzan, were the guests of honour.
The Chief Minister said the number of pilgrims to Vaishno Devi was touching five million annually and it might swell with the extension of the railways to Udhampur. He urged the hoteliers to gear up for the pilgrim rush.
Saying that the pilgrim rush to Vaishno Devi had kept the tourist industry afloat in Jammu and Kashmir under the spectre of militancy. Last year about 1.50 lakh pilgrims paid obeisance at the Amarnath shrine against the expectation of 75,000. The number of yatris had been swelling and there was need to educate people about climatic conditions in the Himalayan ranges so that they come prepared to undertake the yatra, he said.
Dr Abdullah said an ambitious plan was under consideration of the shrine board for beautifying Katra town and upgrading the road link. Due care would be taken for improving the drainage and sewerage in the town, he added.
Referring to the resumption of film shooting in Kashmir, he said though the clouds of fear have thinned down yet there were apprehensions in some quarters outside the state about the situation in the valley. He said some big banners with leading Bollywood stars were planning their shooting schedules in the valley.
Speaking on the
occasion, Mr Rajesh Khanna expressed happiness over the
fast improving security scenario in Kashmir and regretted
that attempts were being made to create fear psychosis
among the people outside the state by unleashing false
propaganda about situation in the valley.
Karan Singh accused of selling
JAMMU, April 15 The Rajput community of the Jammu region has decided to fight against Dr Karan Singh, a well-known political leader, for allegedly selling off property worth several crore of rupees belonging to Shri Amar Kashatriya Rajput Sabha, a charitable trust which was set up by his ancestor Raja Amar Singh in 1907.
The president of the sabha, Lieut-Col Kartar Singh Jamwal (retd) said the sabha was constituted for the uplift of the community and it was granted land to provide accommodation to Rajput youth coming from far-flung areas. However, the land was being secretly sold by Dr Karan Singh, he alleged.
Mr Raghunath Singh Chib, a former IAS officer and adviser to the sabha, also alleged that Dr Karan Singh, after assuming the role of the sole trustee suo-motu of the newly-created Rajput charitable trust in 1961, after the death of Maharaja Hari Singh, was involved in illegal dealings related to the land. He said he got the land mutated in the name of the Rajput charitable trust in 1980. "In the transfer of 106 kanals of land, only 92 kanals were transferred to his name. But what happened to the remaining 14 kanals is still a mystery," he said. The "Sader-e-Riyasat" had also sold the sabha property near Jogi Gate in the heart of the city at the rate of Rs 10-20,000 per kanal whereas the actual price was not less than Rs 20 lakh per kanal. Besides, 250 kanals, which were also given by the Maharaja at Domana and Rs 6 lakh, which were donated to the Shri Pratap Rajput Boarding School at Domana by him, vide an order dated June 29, 1929, were also disputed, Mr Chib said.
The president of the sabha claimed various delegations had met Dr Karan Singh who categorically replied that as the land belonged to his acestors, he was free to do whatever he wanted to with it.
The sabha had also filed a writ petition in the High Court in which the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Jammu, had ordered Dr Karan Singh and his son, Mr Ajatshatru Singh, Information Minister in Dr Farooq Abdullah's Cabinet, to restrain themselves from interferring in the affairs of the Rajpur Sabha.
The court had also
restrained Dr Karan Singh from forcibly evicting the
president of the sabha and constituting an 11-member
committee to hold elections to the post of president of
the Shri Amar Kashatriya Rajput Sabha.
Another cinema house reopens
SRINAGAR, April 15 Neelam Theatre is reopening here tomorrow for a regular film shows after a gap of over a decade, being the second such cinema hall in the valley after Broadway was opened in August last year.
"Hum Aap Ke Dil Mein Rehtey Hain" starring Anil Kapoor and Kajol will be the first movie to be screened tomorrow. All arrangements regarding security and related matters have been made.
The cinema house is situated in the vicinity of the high-security Civil Secretariat and the Jammu and Kashmir Police Headquarters. The road from Karan Nagar to the secretariat continues to be closed to vehicular traffic ever since the eruption of militancy.
Cinema houses and liquor shops were also closed down in 1989. While the liquor shops continue to remain closed, cinema houses have started reopening.
Broadway was the first cinema house in the high-security area at Batwara here which was reopened after the renovation of the whole complex. The Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, inaugurated it last year and extended financial assistance to it.
Out of the nine cinema houses in this city, three had been occupied by the security forces. Palladium Cinema at Lal Chowk, the nerve centre of this city, was damaged in a devastating fire which razed to ground several other shops and business establishments in April, 1993. The debris of the cinema house continues to be there after the security forces erected posts around it.
Some of the local newspapers which have been publishing spots for Broadway today came out with a prominent place for posters from the film to be shown at Neelam. Such advertisements were a rare sight in the local dailies.
Some more cinema houses may reopen in the valley during the coming months.
The owners of Neelam Theatre have given it on lease to Jalandhar-based AG films. This is reported to be because of the security reasons and shifting of their business to other fields after the cinema houses were closed down.
During recent years,
particularly after the installation of the NC government
headed by the Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, former
employees of these cinema houses had been taking out
demonstrations to press for jobs.
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