|Thursday, March 30, 2000,
killing rocks J&K House
blamed for J&K fiscal crisis
boys rescued from militants
SPOs killing rocks
JAMMU, March 29 The killing of a special police officer (SPO) and torture of four other civilians, including two SPOs, during interrogation in Chirallah village in Kishtwar tehsil of Doda district early this month rocked both Houses of the state Legislature here today.
The BJP member, Mr D.K. Kotwal, who is also president of the state unit of the BJP, was bodily lifted from the Legislative Council on the orders of the Chairman, Mr Abdul Rashid Dar. Mr Kotwal was insisting on the sanctioning of ex gratia relief to Daya Kishen who was killed in police custody and compensation to four others who were injured during interrogation. He also demanded that the government should send a special team to the area and conduct further inquiry to verify whether the police officials, responsible for the murder of Daya Kishen, had links with the militants or not.
As he continued to disrupt the proceedings the Chairman directed the marshal to remove the member from the House.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Home, Mr Mushtaq Ahmed Lone, in his suo motu statement in the Upper House confirmed that three SPOs and two civilians, Daya Kishen, Om Prakash, Vipan Lal, Nain Bhat and Uttam Singh, had been tortured in police custody. He said investigations had revealed that these five persons had been taken in custody on a report that they had burgled the house of Ashraf Hussain.
Mr Lone said instead of keeping them in police station they were kept in illegal custody for four to five days during which they were subjected to third degree methods were used in interrogation. Kerosene had been sprinkled on their legs and private parts with the result they received burn injuries. Two injured were shifted to medical college at Jammu where Daya Kishen died.
The SSP, Doda, received a complaint and after prima facie evidence regarding custodial killing was collected and six police officials, including Shoukat Ali, a selection grade constable had been arrested. A case under Sections 302/307/147/148/323/342 of the IPC had been filed in the Bhaderwah police station. Mr Lone said the government had directed the police authorities to complete the investigations and file a challan in the court. Meanwhile, Shoukat Ali had been sacked, Mr Lone said.
In the Legislative Assembly the BJP member, Mr Hans Raj Dogra, raised the matter during zero hour. He said it was unfortunate that no senior government officer had visited the village to offer an apology to the victims of the custodial killing and torture.
The Chief Minister, Dr
Farooq Abdullah, admitted in the Council that the state
had received a raw deal as far as the induction of
officers in the central services was concerned. Replying
to an issue raised by Mr M.Y. Teng, an NC member, the
Chief Minister said though the Centre had increased the
quota for IAS promotees in the state, it was still
meagre. He said there were many talented officers in the
state who deserved to be inducted in the central
services. He suggested to the Centre to increase the
quota and avoid treating the state officers with
Centre blamed for J&K
JAMMU, March 29 The state government has expressed concern over the deteriorating fiscal health of Jammu and Kashmir due to the two-year-long resource crunch.
The Cabinet at a meeting today, discussed the latest financial position in the state in the light of the White Paper it has prepared on the financial crisis. The meeting was presided over by the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah.
The White Paper has squarely blamed the Centre for having squeezed the flow of cash from Delhi to Jammu and Kashmir. And, in the light of criticism by Delhi and by the Opposition within the state that the state government had misused the central funds and failed to recover tax arrears which had touched the Rs 1,000 crore mark the state Cabinet has decided to place it on the table of the state Legislature and later circulate it widely to remove the impression that the state government had wasted money on non-productive schemes.
It has stated that despite the projected tax revenue for the year 2000-2001 of Rs 693 crore, indicating an 11 per cent growth against the current financial year and 100 per cent increase when compared to 1993-95 period, the state remained in acute financial distress because of the lack of adequate financial support from the Centre.
The White Paper has explained that the estimated increase of Rs 1127.71 crore in expenditure for 2000-2001 would be due to additional provision of Rs 50 crore in the purchase of electricity, Rs 40 crore on pension to the employees and Rs 262 crore on normal growth in salary.
The state government, in the White Paper, has explained that in 1996, when the National Conference assumed power the then Central Government had assured financial help for the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations. This assurance was not fully met and the state had to bear a heavy financial burden when the annual wage bill of the employees touched about Rs 3000 crore.
Other factors listed as reasons for the cash crunch relate to the underassessment of the states requirement by previous Finance Commissions in general and the 10th Finance Commission in particular. It has said that the 10th Finance Commission over assessed the receipts of the state and under estimated the expenditure for the award period 1995-2000. As a result budgetary deficit was not fully covered. The White Paper has hoped that the 11th Finance Commission will take care of it.
It has highlighted the impact of Central Governments refusal to give retrospective effect to 90 per cent aid and 10 per cent grant scheme with the result the state had to pay over Rs 600 crore as interest per year on the central loan of Rs 1275 crore.
The Union Finance Ministry and the Finance Commissions had ignored the states plea for sanctioning a compensation for the cash loss of Rs 6,000 crore the state suffered due to the Indus Water Treaty signed with Pakistan in 1960 which had imposed restrictions on the use of waters of the Jehlum, the Indus, and the Chenab.
The Centre, had recognised a shortage of Rs 700 crore for meeting the expenditure, so, far only Rs 400 crore had been released.
The non-reimbursement of the security related expenses (SRE) in full by the Centre had also contributed to the acute cash crunch. Against the total SRE of Rs 1658.58 crore till the end of 1997-98 only Rs 884 crore had been released. The arrears to the tune of Rs 774 crore had forced the state government to secure bank overdraft.
These and other factors have forced the state to leave a budgetary deficit of Rs 2032 crore, during 2000-2001, uncovered. It has stated that the state deserved a special economic package in view of the ongoing Pak-sponsored proxy war which had destroyed the entire infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, including bridges, school buildings and other houses.
The White Paper has
appreciated Centre for its efforts to help the state come
out of the financial crisis but there was need for
liberal assistance to meet rising expenses in both Plan
and non-Plan sectors when the state had to provide
employment on a large scale to check disgruntled youths
from being lured by the militants.
4 boys rescued from
JAMMU, March 29 Rashtriya Rifles today rescued four boys from joining ranks of militants. In a joint operation by Rashtriya Rifles and Special Task Force (STF), in the area of Balana in Kishtwar tehsil of Doda district, carried out a raid on a terrorist hideout in the forest where the boys were held captive by militants of Hizbul Mujahideen.
This is the second rescue operation in last 20 days by the STF. One such group was earlier rescued in the Kshtigarh area of Doda district by Rashtriya Rifles. On both occasions, two Hizbul militants were involved.
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