Friday, December 7, 2001, Chandigarh, India





National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Demand for poll under Governor’s rule
Jammu, December 6
Besides mainstream opposition parties, a small section of separatist leaders continue to demand holding of the next Assembly poll in Jammu and Kashmir under Governor’s rule on the plea that the ruling National Conference will not allow free and fair election.

Farooq lays foundation stone of Asaar Mahal
Srinagar, December 6
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, laid the foundation stone of the prestigious Rs 3.10-crore Asaar Mahal near Nehru Park at the foothills of Shankaracharya overlooking the famous Dal Lake here yesterday.

Border Security Force trooper A Border Security Force trooper holds a light machine gun while getting off a truck in Srinagar on Thursday. Authorities said security in the region has been beefed up after separatist violence in the region escalated since the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan. According to the police, more than 230 persons, mostly rebels, have been killed in the first 19 days of Ramzan. — Reuters


YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES
 
Top








 

Demand for poll under Governor’s rule
M.L. Kak
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 6
Besides mainstream opposition parties, a small section of separatist leaders continue to demand holding of the next Assembly poll in Jammu and Kashmir under Governor’s rule on the plea that the ruling National Conference will not allow free and fair election.

The People’s Democratic Party headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is in the forefront of the anti-Farooq campaign. The Mufti has supporters for this movement in separatist quarters.

According to informed sources, some separatist leaders, considered moderates, have conveyed to the Government of India, through mediators, that they would contest the next poll, directly or indirectly, provided it was held under Governor’s rule.

The Mufti and his daughter, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, have been consistent in their allegation that the Chief Minister and his ministerial colleagues, with the help of bureaucrats, would “rig” the next poll.

Even some Congress and BJP leaders favour the poll being held under Governor’s rule. Some moderates among separatists and Mufti Sayeed are of t he opinion that if the next Assembly poll is rigged it would further shatter the people’s faith in the strength of the Indian democracy and thereby, lead to alienation of people and escalation in violence.

The Mufti is said to have conveyed this feeling to men who matter at the Centre but there has been no positive response from the BJP-led NDA government. The BJP leadership at the Centre has fears that if the Farooq regime is dislodged, it could open another anti-centre front in Kashmir where militancy-related violence had yet to show a decline.

As far as Dr Farooq Abdullah is concerned, he is neither prepared to step down before the elections nor ready to confront the BJP-led NDA government. As a partner in the NDA, he has not so far done anything to provoke the Government of India to dislodge him under Article 356 of the Constitution. After the demise of Vaid Vishnu Dutt, a BJP member of the Lok Sabha from Jammu, the NDA cannot afford to displease the Chief Minister whose party has four members in the Lok Sabha.

The current political situation in the state and in Delhi is such will not allow the National Conference leadership to annoy the Centre.

Knowledgeable circles said some separatists were trying to persuade the Government of India to force Dr Abdullah to step down so that they could take part in the elections. The sources said that this was simply a ploy to get rid of Dr Abdullah, which may result in greater alienation of the people.

Dr Abdullah is aware of the pressure being mounted on the Centre to force him to quit before the poll. It is in this context that he told public rallies in Srinagar and Jammu the other day that he would never step down. He has stated that he would request the Election Commission to appoint as many observers as it liked to ensure a free and fair poll.

He has gone to the extent of inviting international observers for monitoring the poll or all national-level political parties could send their observers to the state.

Dr Abdullah and his partymen seem to be confident over the party’s victory in the next poll and this has been the opinion of state agencies which carried out a pre-poll survey in the state.

Top

 

Farooq lays foundation stone of Asaar Mahal
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 6
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, laid the foundation stone of the prestigious Rs 3.10-crore Asaar Mahal near Nehru Park at the foothills of Shankaracharya overlooking the famous Dal Lake here yesterday.

The state-of-the-art museum, coming up on over 37 kanals, will house the rich heritage of Kashmir through its glorious history of 5,000 years. A countrywide help had been sought for designing the Asaar Mahal and an expert committee headed by the famous Kashmiri architect, Mr I.M. Chisti, approved the design on November 20 last year.

Separate sections have been planned for each category of heritage items, natural history and geology and the museum complex will match international standards in the preserving and display of the heritage.

After its completion, the treasure trove, now housed in the old museum building at Lal Mandi on the left bank of the river Jhelum, will be shifted to the new complex which is likely to take two years to complete. The museum was established in 1898, initially with the gifts in the state “toshkhana” and subsequently developed into a rare collection of art, including, archeological treasures, paintings, textiles, natural history, anthropology, numismatics, manuscripts and old armoury.

Among the prized possessions of the museum is a copy of the holy Quran, written by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. There is also a persian text of the Ramayana. The numismatic section has coins from the Kushan period to the Dogra rule.

Speaking at the foundation laying function, the Chief Minister said the protection of the state heritage was important so that not only the present generation but also the ones to come would know about their past and the prized collection drawn from different periods of the history. He said our past was abundantly rich and the Asaar Mahal would be an appropriate place to preserve and view it. He said the site of the heritage house was selected after due consideration. The site had to be one where students and tourists, apart from common people, could easily reach, he added.

The construction of the new building for the museum was necessitated due to the poor and outdated facilities of preservation and display at the present Sri Pratap Singh museum. He said he had got the museum’s prized collections evaluated by British experts and added that these were priceless and needed preservation on scientific basis.

Top

 

Jammu lawyers strike work

Jammu, December 6
The Jammu Bar Association has decided to suspend work in all three district courts for three days beginning from today to protest against yesterday’s killing of Rajouri District and Sessions Judge Vijay Kumar Phool by unidentified militants at Dera ki Gali in the Surankote sector of Poonch district. UNI

Top

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
|
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
|
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |