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No-confidence motion against Council Chairman defeated
Srinagar, August 18
The no-confidence motion tabled by the Opposition National Conference in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council against its Chairman, Abdul Rashid Dar was defeated with only 14 members voting in its favour.

Tight security for President’s visit
Srinagar, August 18
Tight security arrangements have been made here for the summer session of the state legislature, which began here today and also for President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, who is arriving on a day’s visit to the state tomorrow.

Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel stop a woman for checking outside the state legislature complex on the first day of the opening of the house in Srinagar on Wednesday. Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel stop a woman for checking outside the state legislature complex on the first day of the opening of the house in Srinagar on Wednesday. — Photo by Amin War

Panel formed to bring separatist groups in Hurriyat fold
Jammu, August 18
Molvi Umar Farooq, who has been assigned by the APHC leadership to work out a process for bringing other separatist groups in the Hurriyat fold, has set up a two-member committee to hold talks with leaders separately.



YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES

 

Mufti, Omar to take up script issue with Centre
Srinagar, August 18
Various political parties and Kashmiri writers have resented the reported decision of the Human Resource Development Ministry to introduce Devanagri as an alternative script for the Kashmiri language in place of the Persian script.

Omar Abdullah lashes out at PDP
Srinagar, August 18
The National Conference president Omar Abdullah said the PDP had rewarded the Legislative Council chairman Abdul Rashid Dar for helping them in sabotaging the passage of the Permanent Resident Bill in the last Assembly session.

4 of family killed
Jammu, August 18
A family of four persons, including a woman, were today killed by terrorists in the Malan-Jablan village of Mahore in the Udhampur district. Terrorists entered their house and slit throats of all four inmates. Those killed have been identified as Ghulam Hassan, his two sons, Mohammad Shaffi (26) and Zakir Hussain (16) and his daughter Khurshid Bano (32).

Final phase of Amarnath Yatra begins
Srinagar, August 18
The final phase of the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath began here yesterday with the Poojan of Charri Mubarak (holy mace) at ancient temple of Shankracharya.

Peerzada is new JKPCC chief
New Delhi, August 18
Mr Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed was today appointed President of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee in place of Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad. Mr Azad had wanted to relinquish this post shortly after the state Assembly elections, but he was asked to continue. 
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No-confidence motion against Council Chairman defeated
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 18
The no-confidence motion tabled by the Opposition National Conference in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council against its Chairman, Abdul Rashid Dar was defeated with only 14 members voting in its favour.

The voting was held after a heated debate over the issue between the National Conference and the ruling PDP-Congress coalition members for over two hours. It was on the first day of the House, which was earlier adjourned till 1 p.m after obituary references to three late members of the state legislature.

Mr Abdul Qayoom and eight others, led by Mr Ram Paul, separately moved the resolution of no-confidence against the Chairman.

The National Conference had moved the no-confidence motion against Mr Abdul Rashid Dar for his alleged partisan role in getting the controversial Women’s Bill deferred during the Budget Session in March this year. It has already expelled Mr Abdul Rashid Dar from the party.

The proceedings of the Legislative Council were held with Mr P Namgyal, Vice Chairman in the chair, while Mr Abdul Rashid Dar, against whom the motion was put before the House, was also present. The 14 members who voted in favour of the motion apart from the National Conference members included Mr Abdul Rahman Tukroo, lone member of the CPI in the House. Mr Abdul Qayoom, senior member of the House and a former minister in his remarks, claimed that one of his party members, Nizamuddin Khattana, had been missing and was not able to attend the House. He apprehended that Mr Khattana had either been “kidnapped or kept somewhere” by the ruling party.

Mr Abdul Rashid Dar was among those who voted against the motion and sided with the ruling coalition party members. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is a member of the Upper House, also voted against the motion. Clarifying his position, Mr Dar in his remarks said the number of members present on March 11 when the Bill came to the House from the Legislative Assembly, was not sufficient. Out of 34 members with only 30 active members, there were only 22 present on that day, he said. Mr Dar added that even the Panthers Party chief, Mr Bhim Singh, who now supported the Bill, was against it. Mr Bhim Singh’s Panthers Party with four members in the Assembly is an alliance partner of the coalition government.

“Nobody told me to adjourn the House. I did not know what happens the next day, as the number of members had already come down to 21 only”, Mr Dar commented. He added that if the Bill was put to vote under those circumstances, it would have definitely fallen. Mr Dar added that he had the only option with him to adjourn the House sine die.

He also claimed that three important members — Ms Shameema Firdous, Mr A.R. Shaheen and Nazir Ahmad — who spoke against the Chairman today, were not present in the House that time. Mr Dar added that he had offered to quit the post, but was not allowed to do so by the ruling party.

Earlier, while moving the resolution, Mr Abdul Qayoom said that this was the most unpleasant moment in the history of the state legislature that the motion was brought against its chairman. He added that it was the question of interests of the people of the state and added that the seven-hour discussion on the Women’s Bill in the House on March 11in Jammu, winter capital of the state, had proved a futile exercise.

Mr Qayoom held that the Finance and Law Minister, Mr Muzaffar Hussain Beigh’s speech on the subject in the House had been “moving”.

But, he added that the Chairman wanted to save the government and “that is why he has said yesterday that he is not going to be changed”. Mr Qayoom also referred to the PDP president, Ms Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks blaming the National Conference for the adjournment of the House without passing the Bill.

“But now the PDP members support Dar”, he added. “Whatever be the results of the motion” that did not matter, he said, adding that the Chairman cannot be partial now, as there has been a “vertical split” in the House.

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Tight security for President’s visit
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 18
Tight security arrangements have been made here for the summer session of the state legislature, which began here today and also for President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, who is arriving on a day’s visit to the state tomorrow.

Security has been further beefed up following two suicide attacks by militants in Srinagar since last month.

Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who will inaugurate Vaishno Devi Shrine University near Katra in Jammu tomorrow, will have an interaction with students of the National Institute of technology (NIT) at the SKICC here later in the afternoon. Traffic on the Boulevard Road, leading to the famous Mughal Gardens of Nishat and Shalimar via SKICC, the venue of President’s meet, will remain suspended tomorrow. Passenger and other private vehicles moving from the central Lal Chowk area to Nishat and Shalimar areas would be directed via Foreshore Dal road, Hazratbal.

Similar arrangements have been made around the state legislature complex here with the vehicular and pedestrian traffic suspended between Budshah Chowk and the Exhibition Crossing. Only official vehicles are being allowed to move along the road and the newly opened flyover leading to the Civil Secretariat. All other vehicles coming from the Batamaloo side towards the central Lal Chowk area are being diverted via Magharmal Bagh, Iqbal Park, Lal Mandi and Abdullah Brudge to reach Lal Chowk. An alternative route on the axis is that of Batamaloo, Tankipora, Habbakadal Bridge and Baba Demb. The vehicles moving from the Lal Chowk area towards Batamaloo, the location of the general bus stand, linking it to north Kashmir, however, are allowed via exhibition crossing after passing over the Amirakadal bridge.

Militants have made several attacks near the Exhibition crossing and the Jehangir Chowk area over the years, the main being that of suicide attack at the Assembly complex on October 1, 2001 in which over 40 persons were killed.

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Panel formed to bring separatist groups in Hurriyat fold
Our Correspondent

Jammu, August 18
Molvi Umar Farooq, who has been assigned by the APHC leadership to work out a process for bringing other separatist groups in the Hurriyat fold, has set up a two-member committee to hold talks with leaders separately.

Two members, whose names are still a secret, have been asked by Molvi Umar Farooq, who is functioning as the acting chairman of the APHC, to hold a dialogue with JKLF chief Yasin Malik, Democratic Freedom Party president Shabir Ahmed Shah, Peoples’ League president Abdul Aziz Sheikh and others separately.

Reports said that soon after Syed Ali Shah Geelani floated Tehrik Hurriyat recently, Molvi Umar Farooq had established contact with leaders of erstwhile Itihadi Force, but the progress in the efforts of wooing Mr Malik, Mr Shah and Sheikh Aziz back to the APHC was very slow. Hence, the Mirwaiz constituted a two-member committee to have detailed discussion with them.

According to these reports, Mr Malik, Mr Shah and Sheikh Aziz feel sceptical about rejoining the APHC even though Mr Yasin Malik had been assured of Chairman’s post of the separatist conglomerate.

Meanwhile, the APHC leaders have been taken by surprise when the Pakistan President, General Pervez Musharraf, named Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mr Shabir Shah saying they were enjoying support of the people.

In a recent television programme, General Musharraf was asked whether he would mediate for training about reconciliation between the two factions of the APHC and other groups, he had stated that he was watching the situation. He had also stated that he would be in touch with those who have support of the people and in this connection named Mr Geelani, Mr Shah and Mr Malik.

Though Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, a senior APHC leader, refused to comment on General Musharraf’s remarks, another separatist leader, said: “We are amazed over the statement because Molvi Umar Farooq, who is not only the Kashmir Mirwaiz but president of the Awami Action Committee, has a support of bigger number of people than those named by General Musharraf.

Asked whether the APHC was ready to resume the dialogue with the Government of India after the Union Home Minister Mr Shivraj Patil, had recently stated that talks were to be held with Kashmiri separatists without any precondition, Prof Bhat said: “The ball is in the court of the government. We are willing to resume talks but we are not sure of the future stand of the Union Home Minister.”

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Mufti, Omar to take up script issue with Centre
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 18
Various political parties and Kashmiri writers have resented the reported decision of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry to introduce Devanagri as an alternative script for the Kashmiri language in place of the Persian script. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said here today that he would take up the issue with Mr Arjun Singh and ask him to consider the decision in view of reservations expressed by a majority of literary organisations, writers and intellectuals and the public at large.

The National Conference President and MP, Mr Omar Abdullah, also expressed concern over the issue here today. He said at a press conference here this afternoon that he would take up the issue in Parliament and also with the HRD Minister. He stated that Mr Arjun Singh had been claiming that he would expose the hidden agenda of the previous government.

“I request him to see our history and take a decision accordingly”, Mr Omar Abdullah said. “There should be no change in the script of the Kashmiri language”, the former Union minister said. He added that this had been considered by the previous government without his knowledge or of other colleagues in the government, when he was a member of the Union Council of Ministers. He said such things would not have come through Industries and Commerce or Foreign Affairs Ministry, where he remained a Minister of State during his three-year stint.

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today also asked for a review of the implementation of the Kashmiri, Dogri and Bodhi languages at the school level. He also asked the departments concerned to ensure the effective implementation of government’s decision to teach regional languages at the primary level. He said the government was committed to promote and preserve all languages spoken in different regions and was conscious of the importance of these languages.

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Omar Abdullah lashes out at PDP
Ehsan Fazili
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 18
The National Conference president Omar Abdullah said the PDP had rewarded the Legislative Council chairman Abdul Rashid Dar for helping them (PDP) in sabotaging the passage of the Permanent Resident Bill in the last Assembly session.

In his statement here, Mr Omar Abdullah, said the PDP had vindicated the stand of the National Conference and Dar had traded his conscience for pecuniary benefits to ensure the continuation of the Mufti government by a design disregarding the sentiments and emotions of the people of the state. He alleged that Mufti had once again proved that he could conveniently barter the interests of the people of the state to remain in power.

The NC president said Ms Mehbooba’s hysterical assertions about Dar’s conduct after the last session were a political melodrama. He said her politics of hypocrisy was exposed and the people of the state realised that she indulged in political rhetoric bereft of ideological convictions to stay in power. 

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4 of family killed
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 18
A family of four persons, including a woman, were today killed by terrorists in the Malan-Jablan village of Mahore in the Udhampur district. Terrorists entered their house and slit throats of all four inmates. Those killed have been identified as Ghulam Hassan, his two sons, Mohammad Shaffi (26) and Zakir Hussain (16) and his daughter Khurshid Bano (32).

In another incident, terrorists kidnapped two students of a madrassa, Bashir Ahmed (16) and Mohammad Sharif (18) in the Champal village of Gandoh in Doda district for recruiting them as militants. The boys were later recovered and handed over to their parents.

One Ghulam Hasan were later of Dachan village in Kishtwar was killed in his house by some unknown terrorists.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani terrorist, Abu Safyan, was killed in an encounter with security forces at Thanna Mandi.

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Final phase of Amarnath Yatra begins
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 18
The final phase of the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath began here yesterday with the Poojan of Charri Mubarak (holy mace) at ancient temple of Shankracharya. Mahant Deependera Giri of Dashnami Akhara here, who is also an organiser of Charri Mubarak, led the procession from Dashnami Akhara to Shankracharya Temple. Hundreds of sadhus and devotees, chanting hymns, reached the temple where the Poojan was performed.

The mahant said the Sharavan Somvati Amavasya, which is a sacred day for Charri Poojan, was performed at Sharika Peeth Temple at Hari Parbat. On August 25, the Charri Mubarak will commence its onward journey and will be taken to various temples at Durganag, Bijbehara, Pampore, Mattan, Ashimqam, Pahalgam, Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Panjtarni and culminate at Amarnath for the final darshan of ice-lingam on Sharavan Purnima.

Meanwhile, a total of 2,74,779 pilgrims had arrived in the valley to perform the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave till Monday evening, of whom 26,5640 pilgrims have had darshan at the holy cave till Monday evening, an official spokesman said here yesterday.

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Peerzada is new JKPCC chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 18
Mr Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed was today appointed President of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) in place of Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad. Mr Azad had wanted to relinquish this post shortly after the state Assembly elections, but he was asked to continue. 

Now that Mr Azad has been inducted into the Union Cabinet, it had become imperative to fill the post. A number of other PCC chiefs also need to be replaced because the present presidents have become ministers either at the Centre or in the state.

While the other changes will be made after this Saturday’s AICC session or even after the year-end organisational elections, Jammu and Kashmir was taken up as a special case since it is a sensitive state and the party is a coalition partner in the government. 

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