|Saturday, February 26, 2000,
scenes in J-K House
bunkers destroyed in LoC firing
for India's role in S. Asia
2 ultras killed in valley
Uproarious scenes in J-K House
JAMMU, Feb 25 For the second day today the state Assembly witnessed acrimonious exchanges on the Governor's address with the ruling National Conference determined to secure greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir and the BJP and the Congress opposing it.
The discussion on motion of thanks on Governor's address was initiated by Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, a former Housing Minister. He was repeatedly heckled by BJP members who wanted to know whether he was speaking as the Congress or the National Conference member. The Molvi kept his critics guessing when he said that he had started the discussion on the directions of the Chief Whip of the party which indirectly meant that he had been asked by the ruling National Conference to speak on the motion. Molvi Ansari, it may be recalled, had been elected to the Assembly in 1996 on the Congress ticket. He was inducted in the Cabinet by Dr Farooq Abdullah and later the Congress high command wanted the Molvi to quit the Cabinet which he refused. Later, he was dropped from the Cabinet on charges of sales tax evasion and other alleged irregularities.
The way he spoke on the motion indicated that he had become part of the National Conference after he was expelled from the Congress. The Molvi said by giving greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir people's alienation would end and militants' armed campaign may lose its sting. He said the Centre had started moves for dislodging the National Conference Government and by causing cash crunch the BJP led NDA government had ideas of creating difficulties for the ruling party. He made it clear that the party led by Dr Farooq Abdullah was so strong that the Central Government's machinations would not work.
The CPM member, Mr M.Y. Tarigami accused the Central and the state governments of political failure to prevent the Kargil and the Kandahar events. He said that one should not pat India for having won the Kargil battle because the events proved that the Central Government had been banking on US help during any crisis.
Even while favouring greater autonomy for the state he criticised the National Conference for raking up the autonomy issue at a time when Jammu and Kashmir was faced with serious political, economic and security problems.
Mr Tarigami said that corruption had touched new heights. In fact, he added, corruption had been "legalised and institutionalised" in the state. In this connection he mentioned the plan for providing assistance to drought-hit areas and said that the Centre had earmarked Rs 12 crore for this plan. Major portion of the amount was being spent on purchase of pump sets with the result small farmers were not going to benefit.
The discussion on the motion of thanks on Governor's address has seemingly put the BJP and the Congress on one side with the National Conference on the other side. Several NC legislators, including Mir Saifullah, Mr Mohammad Abbas, Mr Mubarik Gul, Mr Najib Sohrawardhy have, during the last two days, made a strong case for restoration of greater autonomy when they said that for India the choice was limited to either autonomy or secession to Pakistan or to azadi.
Some NC members clarified that their demand for greater autonomy within the Constitution of India would be simply restoration of pre-1953 Constitutional status.
The BJP and Congress members, including Mr Prithvi Chand, Mr Hans Raj Dogra, Mr Prem Lal, Mr Tara Chand and Tsering Dorjee opposed the demand for autonomy.
Mr Tara Chand and Tsering Dorjee said that both the National Conference and the BJP were trying to "befool" people of the state. They said within the state, the BJP opposed greater autonomy but at the national level there was alliance between the two parties.
The Speaker, Mr Abdul
Ahad Vakil, adjourned the House because of lack of
quorum. Mr Vakil chastised the members for wasting time
and money. He said some of the members were not serious
in their deliberations. He wanted the members to remain
present in the House till the end of the sitting. Earlier
during the question hour, he suggested to the members not
to level wild allegations. They must furnish documentary
evidence and he would force the government to hold a
Pak bunkers destroyed in LoC
JAMMU, Feb 25 At least six Pak bunkers were destroyed when the Indian troops retaliated in the Bhimber Gali Mendhar and Hamirpur areas of Poonch district last night.
Defence Ministry spokesman said here today that Pakistani troops had resorted to heavy mortar shelling on the Indian posts and villages near the LoC in Poonch sector since last night . He said Pakistani troops tried to target the Indian posts but failed to inflict any casualty "on our soldiers".
He said Pakistani soldiers resorted to heavy shelling to provide fire cover to the militants who had been brought close to the LoC for entering Jammu sector. The Indian troops retaliated hitting several Pak bunkers. He said there was no exact report on the number of casualties suffered by Pakistani troops.
Meanwhile, four militants were killed in the Dharmari area of Reasi belt last night. The Defence Ministry spokesman said the troops launched a search operation to flush out militants, who had taken shelter in a forest belt. As the troops neared the hideout militants opened fire in which one Army officer and three jawans were wounded. The troops retaliated killing four militants on the spot. Large quantity of arms and ammunition, including four assault rifles were seized. The operation was on till the filing of this report and the troops have been directed to extend their search operations in the adjoining areas too.
NEW DELHI: The Army today categorically denied reports that Indian soldiers had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir last night and killed 12 Pakistani civilians.
Army spokesman Col Shruti Kant told UNI that the reports were "totally baseless, incorrect and without any substance."
Pakistan had earlier
accused Indian soldiers of crossing the LoC in Kashmir
and killing 12 persons, including five women and four
Farooq for India's role in S.
JAMMU, Feb 25 The Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, has advocated the need for a strong India to check Islamic fundamentalism in South Asia. He said this could be possible if India maintained a balance among different ethnic groups and emerged as a perfect federal state.
Speaking at the second Amar Kapoor Memorial Lecture on "Low Intensity war and high intensity conflicts" here today the Chief Minister said Pakistan was mainly responsible for spreading Islamic fundamentalism in South Asia. He said that Pakistan would continue to rake up the Kashmir issue. "Let it do so but we have to set our house in order," he said, adding that Indians should pool all resources to emerge as a major power so that it would not have to bank on the support of super powers, especially the USA.
"India has to stand on its own. It has to find answers to its problems," he said. While referring to the Kashmir issue he said that the Indian leaders had committed mistakes right from 1947. He said first of all accepting the partition of the country was a blunder which was followed by taking the tribal invasion of 1947 to the UN.
Since the Chief Minister was seen reading "Diplomat's Diary", a book written by late Mr T.N. Kaul, a former Foreign Secretary, in the Assembly hall he quoted several assertions of Mr Kaul in his speech. Dr Abdullah referred to the Simla Agreement as a big mistake because the then Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, buckled under Mr Z.A Bhutto's pressure. India should have not released 93,000 prisoners of war without forcing Pakistan to settle the Kashmir issue.
He said that Pakistan had been crying hoarse over the non-implementation of the UN resolution on Kashmir providing for a plebiscite and the Indian leaders never apprised the world that Islamabad had not fulfilled the conditions specified in the UN resolution. Pakistan had to withdraw all its troops from occupied Kashmir which it did not do and instead it annexed Gilgit and Baltistan and gifted several thousand sq km area to China. He said under these circumstances when Pakistan had been aiding proxy war it was difficult to negotiate with that country.
He referred to the recent hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane by the Pak-aided militants and said that it was "shameful" that India buckled under the pressure mounted by the Taliban and released three rebels. He said when an Afghanistan plane was hijacked the Taliban regime remained mute.
He said that the demand for restoration of greater autonomy should not be mistaken for a demand for secession. He favoured a debate on the issue because "we are not demanding something new but restoration of what had been granted to us under the Constitution". He said that greater autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir would strengthen the country and the state's accession with India.
In his address, Mr Prakash Singh, a former Director-General, BSF, also touched events that took place right from 1947 armed conflict between India and Pakistan. He dwelt in length the impact of Pak-aided insurgency in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East region.
Mr Prakash Singh
favoured effective political support to the security
system in the country so that insurgency could be tackled
not only by the security forces but by a proper political
SPO, 2 ultras killed in valley
SRINAGAR, Feb 25 (UNI) Four persons, including a Special Police Officer (SPO) and two militants have been killed in the Kashmir valley since last evening.
Official sources said an encounter took place between security forces and militants at Chewa in the Ganderbal area this afternoon. Further details were awaited.
An official spokesman said militants shot at and critically wounded SPO Talib Hussain at Shopian in south Kashmir this afternoon. Mr Talib, who worked with the Army during Kargil crisis died on the way to a hospital.
He said unidentified militants shot Mr Ashiq Hussain at Kupwara for his alleged links with the security forces.
Security forces killed two militants Youns Khan and Ghulam Hassan at Bandipora in north Kashmir last evening. Some arms and ammunition were also recovered from the slain militants.
Ghulam Hassan Dar was killed during an encounter between militants and security forces at Range village in Pattan early this morning.
Security forces, during search operations, recovered one disposable rocket launcher, one anti-personnel mine, four 60 mm mortar bombs, four rockets, four boosters, seven grenades, 20 detonators, five remote control devices, one kg of RDX, one AK rifle, one grenade launcher and nine kg of explosives in Srinagar and the frontier district of Kupwara since last evening.
The spokesman said a militant surrendered.
He said four hard core
militants were killed during an encounter with the army
at Dharmari village in Riasi early today. Four AK 56
rifles were recovered from the slain militants. Four Army
jawans, including an officer, were injured. The officer
was stated to be in a critical condition at a nearby
Murder case solved
UDHAMPUR, Feb 25 The local police has solved the murder of Ratna Devi (25) and her one and half year son by arresting Yash Paul son of Kirpa Ram resident of Pakhalie.
On January 31, Kaly son of Kirpa Ram resident of Pakhalie reported at Udhampur police station that his sister in-law (his brothers wife) Ratna Devi had not returned after answering the natures call. Earlier, it was given out to the police that she had been washed away in the canal after she jumped into it to save her son.
The post-mortem report
has revealed that the mother and child had died of spleen
injury which they sustained when they were hit by Yash
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