|Thursday, May 18, 2000,
final view on talks with Hurriyat
up after Bhat murder
lecturers sans wages
begins in J & K
IAS officers transferred
celebrates 40th anniversary
No final view on talks with Hurriyat
NEW DELHI, May 17 (UNI) Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee had told a high-level Congress delegation that the government is yet to take a final view on the kind of negotiations the government proposed to have with the released Hurriyat leaders to find a solution to the Kashmir problem.
Talking to reporters after the meeting senior party leader Pranab Mukherjee said the Prime Minister had told them that the government is still considering various proposals on how to tackle the insurgency in the border state.
Mr Mukherjee said the party leaders decided to meet the Prime Minister in the context of stepped up violence in the state including murderous attack on State ministers. The party also wanted to be apprised of the ongoing dialogue between the government and the Hurriyat leaders.
The Congress delegation
which met the Prime Minister included besides Mr
Mukherjee, Mr Madavrao Scindia, Mr Arjun Singh, Mr Ghulam
Nabi Azad, Dr Manmohan Singh and the Pradesh Congress
president Mohammed Shafi Qureshi. Home Minister L.K.
Advani was also present in the meeting.
Security up after Bhat murder
JAMMU, May 17 The Army, the police and the paramilitary forces have been directed to remain relentless in its operations against the militants in Jammu and Kashmir.
As per the latest instructions from the Union Home Ministry, different security and intelligence agencies have been asked to coordinate efforts to smash the hideouts of the militants. The Home Ministry has laid emphasis on halting infiltration from across the border.
During a meeting with the Governor, Mr G.C. Saxena, the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, and other senior state government functionaries in Srinagar the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, was informed that continued infiltration and arms smuggling from across the border had sustained insurgency, despite a series of operations launched by the security forces within the state.
The Home Minister is said to have assured the state government functionaries that steps were being taken to plug infiltration routes.
Official sources said it was under the latest instructions that the Army and other security agencies gunned down 18 militants in the border areas of Rajouri and Tangdhar during the past 24 hours. The Armys Romeo Force has achieved a series of success in the Rajouri-Poonch belt in recent weeks, killing more than 80 trained militants, most of them foreign mercenaries. At least 10 major militant hideouts have been smashed in this belt and arms and ammunition worth several crores of rupees has been seized.
According to Corps Commander Lieut-Gen A.S. Khanna, more than 218 top militants and infiltrators have been killed in the Jammu sector during the past four months against 459 in 1999. The offensive launched by the troops and the police has resulted in a marked increased in the rate of elimination of rebels.
Another strategy adopted after the killing of Minister of State for Power, Ghulam Hassan Bhat in a landmine blast is to increase the number of road opening parties (ROP) so that the ROP exercise is extended to several more routes. Official sources say when Ghulam Hassan Bhat left Dooru village for Srinagar on Monday morning there was no ROP to carry out its assigned task of spotting a landmine.
The state government has now decided that all VVIPs should not disclose in advance their tour programmes to their supporters, friends and party workers. Ghulam Hassan Bhat had been touring his constituency for three days before his assassination.
Official sources suspect infiltration of enemy agents in the ruling National Conference who may have informed the militants about the exact time of his departure for Srinagar, the road taken by him and the colour of the car in which he was to travel.
It was because of this exact information that the militants did not press the button of the remote device when the police escort van crossed the landmine. The button was pressed the moment the ministers car touched the spot.
The official sources say that the Pakistani agencies are trying to push into Jammu and Kashmir large groups of militants and arms and explosives to make up for the losses the militants have suffered in recent operations by the security forces. Most of the militants have been brought close to areas across Uri, Kupwara, Keran, Karnah, Bandipore, Poonch, Rajouri, R.S. Pora and Samba.
The sources say the security forces have been instructed to kill anyone found crossing the border.
At the same time, the
Home Ministry has turned down the state governments
request for sending additional forces to the state to
tackle the activities of the militants. The Home Ministry
has suggested to the state government to utilise properly
the forces that are available with it and suggested that
the police raises one or two additional battalions.
J&K lecturers sans wages
JAMMU, May 17 The state government is totally insensitive to our plight. This is the common refrain of lecturers who were appointed by the government three months ago in different colleges in the state and of employees, including scientists of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST).
The college lecturers have not received their salary for the past two to three months. When they approached the authorities concerned, they were told that since the Cabinet had not yet approved their salary bills, no salary statement could be prepared. They were also told that there was no budgetary allocations and, hence, the lecturers could not draw their salary.
Some lecturers are posted over 300 km from their residences and they invariably depend on the money sent by their parents. Some lecturers are not in a position to pay rent.
For employees and scientists of SKUAST who had migrated to Jammu from Kashmir in 1990, the sword of Damocles continues to hang on their head. During the past seven years they have not received their salary on time.
Eight years ago scientists who had migrated from Kashmir had been temporarily adjusted in the Jammu campus of SKUAST. Their experience and talent were utilised for teaching and research work. It was the result of the efforts of these scientists that scores of postgraduate students were able to complete their courses.
After the bifurcation of SKUAST last year, hopes of these scientists were dashed to the ground when the Jammu SKUAST delinked them from teaching and research programmes. A series of meetings were held which were attended by the Minister for Agriculture and the two Vice-Chancellors besides the Commissioners. It was decided to maintain a status quo and allow the scientists to carry out teaching and research programmes. Not only this, a decision was taken under which wages for the migrant employees, including scientists, were kept at the disposal of the Vice-Chancellor Jammu SKUAST. But during the past three months, there has been no action on the decisions taken.
The result is that the migrant employees, including the scientists, have not received their salaries for the past three months. The Jammu SKUAST has yet to give a proper shape to the new university because of lack of funds. The Vice-Chancellor is in a tight spot because he has not been allowed to create posts and fill these with suitable candidates.
While their counterparts
in Srinagar have been receiving their monthly salaries on
time, those in Jammu have been knocking the doors of
state government functionaries but without any success.
They have not yet received DA instalments and wage
Census begins in J & K
SRINAGAR, May 17 The operation of houselisting in the first phase of the census operations, began in 12 out of 14 districts of Jammu and Kashmir yesterday, where 20,000 state government employees have been trained to undertake the job.
The two districts of Leh and Kargil in the frontier cold desert region of Ladakh will not be included in the operations, where the census has been scheduled for a later date.
In all there are 59 tehsils, 79 towns and 6652 villages in Jammu and Kashmir where the census operations are being taken up after a gap of two decades.
The last census in the state was held in 1981, and no census could be conducted in 1991 in the wake of the eruption of armed militancy in the valley. According to the 1981 census, the total population of the state was 5,987,389.
The first phase of the
census operations which began with houselisting yesterday
would continue up to June 5. The actual head count would
start on September 11 and would continue up to September
30, a Central government spokesman said here.
3 IAS officers transferred
SRINAGAR, May 17 The Jammu and Kashmir Government yesterday ordered the transfers and postings of three senior IAS officers with immediate effect, an official spokesman said.
Mr K.B. Pillai, IAS, Principal Secretary and Secretary to the Government, Power Development Department, has been transferred and posted as Principal Secretary and Secretary to Government, Planning and Development Department.
Mr J.A. Khan, IAS, Principal Secretary and Secretary to Government. Planning and Development Department has been transferred and posted as Principal Secretary and Secretary to Government, Finance Department.
Mr Ajit Kumar, IAS,
Principal Secretary and Secretary to Government, Finance
Department has been transferred and posted as Principal
Secretary and Secretary to Government, Power Development
Beacon celebrates 40th
SRINAGAR, May 17 Efforts are on to maintain the flow of two-way traffic on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway throughout the year, and the task is expected to be completed within a year.
Disclosing this Brig K.S. Rao, Chief Engineer, Beacon Project of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), said here today that the work was already going on regarding the improvement of both the tubes of the Jawahar Tunnel,which is the lifeline of the Kashmir valley.
He was talking to mediapersons on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Beacon at the headquarters this morning. He said renovation work was also in full swing on the old alignment over the Jawahar Tunnel on the highway, to lower the pressure of increasing traffic on the highway.
Replying to questions Brigadier Rao said the work on an alternate alignment at Zoji La on the vital Srinagar-Leh highway was going on at a slow pace due to the rocky terrain. He said lesser number of labour was available to work on the patch and the paucity of funds had also hampered the completion of the project. He said work on the Wayul-Srinagar bypass on the Ladakh highway would be completed in two years.
Brigadier Rao said this year was being observed as the Year of the labourers and pioneers of Beacon Project. Several measures were being taken for the welfare of the labourers who had been working on the project since 1960.
Beacon has been
responsible for the development of over 2500 km of roads
in extreme weather and adverse terrain conditions in the
Himalayan region. It has concentrated on the construction
of a number of roads like Sonmarg-Kargil-Leh,
Leh-Upsi-Loma-Chushul, Jammu-Srinagar (NH1A) and many
other roads in the valley. Beacon has also contributed to
the upgradation of airfields such as Leh airfield,
Awantipur airfield, Thoise Advance Landing Ground,
Shariefabad air base and upgradation of Srinagar
airfield. The construction of a 250-bedded hospital
having modern facilities at Leh and the construction of
TV tower atop Shankaracharya near Dal Lake. Beacon has a
distinction of having its name recorded in Guinness Book
and Limca Book of records for the construction of 30
meter-long Bailey Bridge near Khardung La Pass at a
height of 5,602 meters.
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