|Friday, June 23, 2000,
Panthers Party opposes autonomy
Rs 1.25 crore for Katra development
|Possession of land for rail link
SRINAGAR, June 22 The required land for the construction of Udhampur-Baramula rail project will be handed over soon, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Ashok Jaitly has said.
18 militants killed in encounters
SRINAGAR, June 22 (UNI) The security forces gunned down 18 militants, arrested five and recovered large cache of arms and ammunition including explosives while the militants killed a National Conference leader and a security jawan in the state during the past 24 hours.
A report from Baramula said the militants shot at and critically wounded a security force jawan at Main Chowk Baramula this evening. The injured jawan died in the way to hospital.
Later the security forces allegedly beat up pedestrians and shopkeepers, the report added.
A spokesperson for K-force said troops on a specific information cordoned off Hajibal Baba Reshi Tangmarg village, about 50 km from here late last night to nab militants and their sympathisers.
During the house-to-house searches, the militants fired at the troops with automatic weapons from different directions.
The troops retaliated and the exchange continued till afternoon today during which four militants were killed.
The villagers alleged that the troops fired mortars during the encounter damaging five houses.
An official spokesman said militants shot dead a National Conference leader at Rafiabad bus stand last evening.
He said the security forces had gunned down four militants each at Thandi Kassi and Bisma Gali during two different encounters since last evening.
A large cache of arms and ammunition, including 5 AK rifles, three wireless sets, two pistols, four grenades and Rs 4400 were seized.
The Special Operation Group of the Jammu and Kashmir police killed a militant Aijaz Ahmad Bazaz at Chatabal in down town city last night, while another militant Gazi Baba was killed at Daragam Pattan today.
The forces also killed two militants each at Anantnag and Baramula today. Some arms and ammunition were seized from the slain militants.
The security forces
arrested five militants and recovered 65 kg of
explosives, two IED boxes, 11 grenades, three rockets,
five detonators, four rocket boosters and one rucksack
across the state during overnight operations.
Ladakhis in conversion row
LEH, June 22 (PTI) Even as the debate over conversions and recoversions has upset relations between the Christians and the Hindus elsewhere, the Buddhists and the Muslims in this far-flung district are caught in a similar controversy which the locals would, however, like to wish away.
"Conversion from Buddhism to Islam is a menace that has come to stay. As people who have cherished cordial relations for ages, we definitely want this to die off," Tsering Samphel, president of the Ladakh Buddhists Association (LBA) said.
Samphels feeling is echoed by many local Buddhists, who allege that the state government was encouraging Muslim youth to lure Buddhists damsels to the Islamic fold.
"Any Muslim government servant marrying a Buddhist girl is immediately rewarded with juicy postings," claimed Gey Lohzang Nyantak, Youth wing president of the LBA.
These contentions are endorsed even by legendary monk Head Lama Kushuk Bakula, who expressed concern over the state governments "suspected role" in this respect and said this had made "young people (Buddhists) restless".
"This is not a happy sign," 84-year Bakula said.
Muslim Ladakhis, however, do not agree with allegations of state governments "role of sponsorship" to such "stray incidents of love and subsequent conversions," but they also agree that of late the trend has vitiated the atmosphere.
"I am really concerned over whatever is happening. We Ladakhi Muslims have enjoyed very good relations with Buddhists for centuries. But now this talk about conversion has come to stay as a nasur (festering wound)," said Rahmatalla Zarkar, a local shopkeeper.
Other Muslims, even refused to join the issue but said that the practice, if it appeared as a menace, "should be done away with".
A local hotelkeeper, on the condition of anonymity, said that he, a Muslim, and his wife, a Buddhist were "enjoying over three decades of blissful married life.
"But it is not my generation. Things are changing. Religion unlike our time is no more upheld as a means of salvation. I fail to understand why conversion should become an issue at all," he observed.
But many Muslims in Leh district, otherwise a land of Buddhists, look with concern over local Buddhists making the conversion issue a major "plank".
"The Ladakh Buddhists Association has already charged Muslims and the Farooq Abdullah Government with launching ethnic cleansing," complained one former leader of the now defunct Ladakh Muslim Association.
Only a fortnight ago LBA chief Tsering Samphel had shot off an angry letter to the state Chief Secretary on the issue.
Panthers Party opposes autonomy
NEW DELHI, June 22 The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party today came out against the state Chief Minister Farooq Abdullahs autonomy move and warned that it would result in the division of India.
Addressing mediapersons, the National Panthers Party President, Prof Bhim Singh, said the acceptance of the state governments Autonomy Report by the Centre would mean that the Supreme Courts authority would no longer extend to Jammu and Kashmir. As a matter of fact the Constitution of India would not be accepted by the J&K Government, Prof Singh said adding that the Autonomy Report had asked for withdrawal of all IAS, IPS and other Central Government employees from the state.
The people of the State would no longer enjoy human rights like the other citizens of India, he said.
Acceptance of the recommendations of the Autonomy Report would also abolish the authority of the President of India to hear any petition or appeal by any citizen of Jammu and Kashmir Prof Bhim Singh said.
Alleging that there was no difference between the All-Party Hurriyat Conference and the National Conference, Prof Singh said the former was not accepting the Constitution of India.
He also accused the BJP
government of conspiring with the National Conference to
start the process of secession of Jammu and Kashmir from
India. Equating the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari
Vajpayee, with the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
whom he held responsible for the disintegration of the
Soviet Union, Prof Bhim Singh urged all secular and
democratic parties to form a joint front against the
conspiracy to destabilise India.
Rs 1.25 crore for Katra development
JAMMU, June 22 (PTI) Katra, the base camp to the holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, is being developed as a model town with Rs 1.25 crore earmarked for a fully equipped commercial complex.
The town will be developed over an area of 794 acres under a four-zonal master plan which includes a bus stand, four-lane roads, residential quarters and recreational facilities, Principal Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department, S. L. Sailova, said.
Possession of land for rail link soon
SRINAGAR, June 22 (PTI) The required land for the construction of Udhampur-Baramula rail project will be handed over soon, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Ashok Jaitly has said.
"Possession will be given to the Railways by August 31, this year," according to the Chief Secretary.
He said out of the 28 villages falling on either side of Nowgam station, notifications for acquisition of land had already been issued in 18 villages while similar notifications would be issued in Humhama and Rakhi Shalina shortly.
In respect of eight
other villages where the land acquisition proceedings had
yet to be initiated, the Chief Secretary said it was
decided that in order to avoid delay in the construction
work, possession of land coming under the track would be
handed over to the Railway after taking into confidence
the persons in possession of the land.
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