|Friday, July 7, 2000,
asked to protect human rights
Minister meets shahtoosh traders
Tributes paid to Tiger Hill heroes
Funds insufficient to
4 arrested in rape case
|13 Fire Brigade officials sustain
SRINAGAR, July 6 Thirteen fire brigade officials, including Director (fire services), GM Bhat, suffered burn injuries while controlling a blaze at a hotel on the banks of Dal Lake early today.
Cops asked to protect human
SRINAGAR, July 6 The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mr Farooq Abdullah, has asked the police to protect human rights and ensure that innocents are not harassed when they are fighting Pak-sponsored militancy.
Addressing SPs and other senior police officers here yesterday, the Chief Minister said the police was the last hope for the people who had suffered immensely as a result of militancy. "People are sick of militancy and yearn for peace", he said adding that it was the duty of the police to protect human rights.
Cautioning the police officers against human rights violations, Dr Abdullah said any such incident brings a bad name to India and the state in the world community. He said Pakistan had nothing to do except crying hoarse on human rights violations in India though the Pakistanis themselves trampled these with impunity. The police has to be friends with the people and any action having potential for alienation should be eschewed. He reminded that Pakistan was exploiting this alienation to infiltrate more and more militants into our territory to shed the blood of innocents. It was the bounden duty of the police to protect the lives and honour of the people, he said. There should be no inhibition in accepting wrongs as these help in taking corrective measures and winning the confidence of the people, he said.
Expressing concern over the complaints against the Special Operations Group, the Chief Minister ordered that it would henceforth be under the command of the SPs and for any wrong act of the SOG the DIG and SP of the district would be made accountable. He asked senior police officers to ensure that none of the men under their command indulge in extortion and other unauthorised acts which bring a bad name to the force in particular and the government in general. He, however, asked the police to keep a watch on bad elements within the force and take measures to rid it from them.
The Chief Minister ordered that all operations conducted by the Army and paramilitary forces should be undertaken only after informing the district SPs concerned. Stressing the need for a good rapport between police and Army officers, he said this would be useful in cross-checking the information required for such operations. He said the officers must make a correct assessment of the situation and all channels of information should be tapped to ascertain the genuineness of the information.
Mr Abdullah lauded the police force for its excellence in combating militancy and achieving many successes. He said police stations, which were the basic units of enforcing law and order, were made fully functional and the force strengthened by modern weaponry and manpower. He said law and order was the responsibility of the police while para-military forces were there for assistance only.
Complimenting the Director-General of Police, Mr Gurbachan Jagat, for giving dynamic leadership to the state police by reactivating what he called an almost defunct force, the Chief Minister said it had grown into a force to reckon with. He particularly made a mention of the DGPs drive of on-the-spot recruitment and asked, "Does it happen anywhere in the country"?
JAMMU: The Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, has said that his government will take all possible measures for modernising the police force so that the constabulary was well-equipped and trained to carry out anti-insurgency operations on their own.
Speaking at the passing
out parade of 75 Deputy Superintendents of Police at the
Sher-e-Kashmir Police Academy at Udhampur today the Chief
Minister said the police had a pivotal role to play in
containing the activities of Pakistan-trained militants.
Minister meets shahtoosh traders
SRINAGAR, July 6 The Jammu and Kashmir Government has assured shahtoosh traders that it would safeguard the industry as also the workers and artisans involved in the trade while taking a decision regarding a ban on the trade.
This assurance was given by the Industries Minister, Dr Mustafa Kamal, while interacting with representatives of shahtoosh traders here yesterday in pursuance of the Cabinet decision on the issue.
The Cabinet last week had decided to impose a ban on the Shahtoosh trade. In this connection it had asked the Industries Minister to invite shahtoosh traders for a discussion on the subject.
The state Cabinet which met here under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on June 30 decided to impose a ban on the 650-year-old trade involving thousands of workers. Those associated with the trade including spinners, weavers and dealers opposed the government move and claimed that this would render five lakh out of job. Workers associated with the industry held protest demonstrations in the capital city on Monday last, urging the government to reconsider the decision.
The Industries Minister briefed the representatives of the shahtoosh trade on the legal aspects arising out of international and national conventions and laws. He referred to the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to which India is a signatory.
Under this convention, all signatory countries are bound to protect the Tibetan antelope, an endangered specie. Under the provisions of the CITES, trade in by products of the antelope is also banned. The Central Government under the Wildlife Act has given protection to the Tibetan antelope in conformity with the CITES convention.
The minister referred to the harassment meted out to traders outside the state both in the national and international market by enforcement agencies. These agencies, he said, had confiscated huge stocks of shahtoosh, thereby resulting in a financial loss to the state. Even under the state Wildlife Act, the Tibetan antelope enjoyed protection and the Central Government had pointed out that the state government must take steps to implement the provision of the Act so that due protection is extended to the specie. At the recent Cabinet meeting it was decided that interests of persons engaged in this trade needed to be addressed prior to the ban.
It had accordingly been decided that the Central Government would be asked to make an exception in the law to enable the traders in the state to declare their stocks which would be auctioned on an all-India basis.
The traders would also have the right to decide the reserve price for these stocks and would be entitled to compensation for the stock. The state government also proposed to seek permission from the Central Government to allow owners of shahtoos to declare their stock before a formal ban was imposed.
Dr Mustafa Kamal
informed the traders that the Industries and Commerce
Department would draw a comprehensive rehabilitation
programme which would also include utilisation of the
skills of the workers so that they remained gainfully
Tributes paid to Tiger Hill heroes
DRAS (Kargil sector) July 6 (ADNI) At the second coldest inhabited place in the world, 8th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment (Chardi Kala), also known as Tiger Hill Paltan paid tribute to martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice while capturing helmet and India Gate features of the famous Tiger Hill, and defending these features against fierceattacks by the enemy on this day last year. The roll of honour includes one officer, four JCOs and 30 Jawans.
The unit celebrated July 6 as Shaheedi and Fateh diwas to commemorate the capture of Western Spur which facilitated the capture of Tiger Hill. During the Kargil war all attempts to capture Tiger Hill had stalled. When the task to capture Western Spur was assigned to 8 Bn. The area was heavily guarded and the approach extremely steep with a 75 to 80 degree gradient.
Taking advantage of an extremely hostile weather heavy rain and blinding fog, the company, under Maj Ranvir Singh traversed the difficult terrain and negotiated the steep slopes undetected. It then split up into three teams and simultaneously attacked enemy positions the enemy was taken by surprise and the western route to Tiger Hill effectively blocked. Desperate to keep the western route open the enemy counterattacked. The gallant Sikhs held on to the objective and repulsed two enemy counterattacks and inflicted heavy casualties. Two officers and 30 enemy jawans include Maj Iqbal of SSG and Capt Karnail Sher of 12 NLI who led the attack were killed.
to check floods
JAMMU, July 6 The state government has allotted insufficient funds for flood control measures in Jammu province during the current financial year.
According to sources in the Flood Control and Irrigation Department, the government sanctioned Rs 6.25 lakh for three months. The department has already spent Rs 2.20 lakh.
They said that the amount was very less in view of massive damage caused to protection bundhs and other channel during flash floods that year. The amount released by the government was not sufficient to complete even minor repair works of the canals and of breached bundhs.
Another handicap in the department was that despite estimated loss of crops and houses in flash floods last year to the tune of Rs 198.84 lakhs not a single flood affected had been paid any compensation. Most of the affected people belonged to the Akhnoor and the Jammu sectors.
For the repair work of breached canals the government had released Rs 18.75 lakh last year and the department had expected a higher allocation during the current year. But as a result of acute cash crunch the flood control department had been given a raw deal, the sources said.
A former Chief Engineer, Mr Inder Jeet Singh, said the menace of flood damage in the Jammu region has been the result of rapid deforestation in the catchment area of river Chenab and river Tawi. He said that deforestation and increased financial allocation for raising the level of banks of the rivers was needed to be taken on priority basis.
4 arrested in rape case
JAMMU, July 6 (UNI) Four persons, including the owner of a hotel, have been arrested for raping a newly-married woman who had come here to proceed to Vaishno Devi.
A police spokesperson said the newly-married couple had hired a room in a local hotel on July 3. Following a phone call asking him to report on duty immediately, the husband, an Army sepoy, left for Srinagar.
He left his wife behind, and taking advantage of the situation, the hotel owner Sanjay Kumar entered her room and allegedly raped her, the spokesperson added.
Another guest heard the womans cries, but instead of helping her, he too raped her. Soon, one of Sanjays friends, and a PCO booth owner staying in the same complex also joined in the crime.
For two days they kept the victim locked inside a room and raped her repeatedly, the police said, adding that she managed to escape, and lodged a complaint at Nowabad police station.
13 Fire Brigade officials sustain burns
SRINAGAR, July 6 (PTI) Thirteen fire brigade officials, including Director (fire services), GM Bhat, suffered burn injuries while controlling a blaze at a hotel on the banks of Dal Lake early today.
Bhat, two assistant directors and 10 other officials suffered burn injuries while controlling a fire in the basement of Hotel Centur, a fire services spokesman said here.
While four fire services officials are still under treatment, others, including three senior officers, were discharged after first aid, he said.
The spokesman said property worth Rs 300 crore was involved in the fire, but the efforts of the fire services restricted the loss approximately to Rs 10 lakh.
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