|Saturday, March 11, 2000,
Opposition targets Farooq
APHC-sponsored bandh hits life
Jawan killed in blast
JAMMU, March 10 Notwithstanding allegations of the misuse of funds, corruption and nepotism levelled by the Opposition in the assembly here today the Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, defended his governments performance during the past three years and said instead of finding faults with the state administration political leaders and people should remain vigilant against fresh Pak designs of destabilising peace in the state.
Replying to the demands for grant of departments under his charge Dr Abdullah urged the Centre to persuade the American President, Bill Clinton, to force Pakistan to stop its proxy war launched in Jammu and Kashmir.
India should tell Mr Clinton plainly, during his forthcoming visit to Delhi that in case Pakistan did not stop aiding militants the USA will declare it a terrorist country and impose sanctions against Islamabad, Dr Abdullah said.
He said since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in jail anything negative could be expected from a military ruler in Pakistan. He said Mr Clintons visit to India was likely to improve Indo-US ties and these relations could be in the interest of peace in the subcontinent provided Mr Clinton persuaded Pakistan to stop exporting terrorism to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Chief Minister, while referring to the security scenario in the state, said after the Kargil conflict, with militancy related violence in the state, especially in the Jammu region, had gone up. He said there was a need for greater vigil and measures were already afoot to tackle the menace of militancy. In this context he referred to the plan of resuming work of fencing the international border and said once fencing was complete it would halt infiltration from across the border. The police was being strengthened and modernised and in the past three years the revamped police force had done a good job in eliminating rebels and in seizing arms and ammunition.
Referring to the charge of the Opposition that corruption had touched new heights in Jammu and Kashmir under the National Conference rule, the Chief Minister said it was under Governors rule that corrupt practices in government offices had set a new record and we are now tasting its bitter fruits.
He said since the National Conference takeover in 1996 a sustained campaign against corruption had been launched. As many as 631 cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act had been registered by the vigilance organisation. Out of these 243 cases were investigated and so far 131 cases had been established and challans had been filed in courts.
In connection with the power crisis the Chief Minister informed the House that he was in touch with the Central Government on the issue of either amending the Indus Water Treaty, which imposes ban on storing river water beyond a particular limit, or amending it so that the state could build dams for storing water of the Jehlum, the Chenab and the Indus for generating power during the lean period.
He also sought compensation from the Centre for losses the state has suffered due to the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 with Pakistan. In addition to this several major power projects had been taken in hand and hoped that in the near future the power crisis would ease provided the Centre released additional funds for these projects.
Earlier, opposition members, including Mr Shiv Charan Gupta of the BJP, Mr Harsh Dev Singh of the Panthers Party berated the state government for its poor performance. The BJP members alleged that some of the National Conference leaders continued to shield militants. They wanted the state government to throw them out from the administration.
During question hour the
Opposition staged a walkout in protest against the
inordinate delay on the part of the state government in
filling vacant posts of teachers. The Education Minister,
Mr Mohammad Shafi, informed the House that the Cabinet
had banned the appointment of teachers on ad hoc basis
and the services selection board had been approached to
expedite the selection of the teachers till then shortage
of teachers would be resolved through rationalisation of
bandh hits life
SRINAGAR, March 10 Normal life was paralysed here today in response to a strike call by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) in protest against the "plight of detainees in Jodhpur jail".
All shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads. Schools and some of the banks were also closed in response to the bandh call. There was thin attendance in the state government offices. Only private and government vehicles were plying on some of the city routes. However, a skelital transport was available on some interior city routes.
The two day strike call was given by the APHC in protest against what it described the plight of the detained APHC leaders in Jodhpur jail and other detention centres in and outside the state. The protest was in particular against the deteriorating condition of top APHC leaders in Jodhpur jail due to the denial of proper attention to them.
A spokesman for the APHC here stated that the condition of its chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and senior executive member, Mohammad Yasin Malik in Jodhpur jail for the past five months was deteriorating. The spokesman claimed that the leaders were suffering from cardiac problems. He added that two other top leaders, Moulvi Abbas Ansari and the spokesman Prof Abdul Ghani were also suffering from various ailments and they were not provided with any proper medical facilities. The spokesman also claimed that the protest was against the denial of the authorities to allow the meeting of these detained leaders with the lawyers.
The police here said that there was partial response to the bandh call in the capital city and other major towns of Pulwama, Baramulla and Budgam. The response was total in Anantnag district, where the shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads. Other major towns, including Sopore, also remained closed. There was no response to the call in Kupwara, the police here said.
SRINAGAR, March 10 (PTI) An Army jawan was killed and two seriously injured in a powerful landmine explosion triggered by militants in Anantnag district of south Kashmir early today.
The landmine was planted by militants on the road at Prinani-Lamand in Qazigund, 80 km from here, and detonated when an Army vehicle was passing through it, official sources said.
The vehicle was blown up in the explosion resulting in injuries to three of its occupants. They were rushed to hospital where the driver of the vehicle succumbed to his injuries.
The Hizbul-Mujahideen outfit has claimed the responsibility of the blast.
A spokesman for the outfit telephoned newsmen here claiming the responsibility of the explosion and said all Army personnel travelling in the vehicle were killed in the incident.
In other incidents two militants were killed and two others, including a special police officer (SPO), injured in separate shootouts in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening.
Saidullah, alias Manzoor, was killed when the police opened fire in retaliation to a militant attack on their post at Banara in Udhampur district of Jammu last night, an official spokesman said today.
The police post suffered no casualty in the attack. An AK assault rifle, a pistol and two grenades were seized.
The security forces also gunned down a militant during search operations at village Check-Sedow in Anantnag district of south Kashmir last evening, and seized an AK assault rifle and two grenades.
Two persons, including a SPO Ghulam Nabi Lone, were seriously wounded when militants opened fire at general bus stand in the Sopore area of Baramula district in north Kashmir last evening.
flee border areas
JAMMU, March 10 The Security agencies have been put an alert following reports that a large number of militants, including foreign mercenaries, had sneaked into the outskirts of Jammu city. These reports said Pak-trained militants had established hideouts in several areas, including Jhiri, forest belts of Mansar and Bhatindi.
According to the official sources, these militant groups had been engaged in surveying these areas for the past three weeks and recently as many as 15 militants, equipped with sophisticated weapons, had escaped to safer places after the security forces launched a manhunt in the Jhiri area.
The sources said panic had gripped areas between Jhiri and Pallawala on the Jammu-Akhnoor segment. Certain male members of the Kashmiri migrant camp at Jhiri are said to have deserted the camp out of scare.
The sources said several hundred families from various border belts of Akhnoor, R.S. Pora, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch had migrated to safer places after they witnesssed heavy infiltration of militants from across the border.
Panic had gripped people living in border villages of the Uri and Kupwara sector in view of frequent announcement on loudspeakers from across the border warning people to vacate as the Pak troops and air force were planning to attack the area.
Some of the loudspeakers had been installed near mosques across Uri and Kupwara.
Fearing escalation in
border trouble and in militancy-related violence in the
wake of forthcoming visit of the American President to
India and Pakistan and Indian troops have been directed
to remain vigilant along the LoC to defeat Pak
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