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Bedlam in J&K House, adjourned
Srinagar, August 23
Both Houses of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly were adjourned without any business for the third consecutive day today following pandemonium caused by the opposition National Conference over the Permanent Residents (Disqualification) Bill 2004.

The scene inside the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council on Monday, where National Conference members jumped into the well of the House, demanding the reintroduction of the controversial Permanent Residents (Disqualification) Bill.

The scene inside the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council on Monday, where National Conference members jumped into the well of the House, demanding the reintroduction of the controversial Permanent Residents (Disqualification) Bill. — PTI photo

CRPF defuses IED on Srinagar-Jammu highway
Srinagar, August 23
Five persons, including a Hizbul Mujahideen militant and a special police officer, were killed and seven others were injured in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, where security forces averted a major tragedy with the timely detection of a powerful IED on Srinagar-Jammu national highway today, official sources said.

Parties blame each other over daughters’ Bill row
Srinagar, August 23
The Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling PDP and the Opposition (National Conference) have blamed each other for the controversy over daughters’ Bill and failure to pass it in the Upper House, apart from hampering normal business of the state legislature. The Congress, main alliance partner of the coalition government, has maintained a “meaningful silence” over the issue.

Militant outfits relax dress code stipulation
Jammu, August 23
The scene is changed in the valley as militant outfits no longer impose a dress code on Muslims, especially the women in Poonch, Rajouri and Doda districts. School and college going girls can be seen moving around without purdah (veil) or even the Iranian-style headgear in Muslim dominated areas of Jammu and Kashmir.


YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar

A Congress supporter listens to the speech of newly elected state party president
A Congress supporter listens to the speech of newly elected state party president Peerzada Mohd Syeed at the party headquarters in Srinagar on Monday. — Tribune photo by Amin War

EARLIER STORIES

 

Lingam at Amarnath melts
Jammu, August 23
The ice lingam at the Amarnath cave shrine has melted much before the arrival of the holy mace, Chhari Mubarik, on August 30 due to environmental conditions. The holy lingam at the shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas has melted 10 days ago due to environmental conditions, the Chief Executive Officer (Eco), of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), Mr Arun Kumar, said.

2.78 lakh yatris had darshan at Amarnath
Srinagar, August 23
Out of 2.82 lakh pilgrims who visited the valley for Amarnath Yatra, 2,78,576 yatris had darshan of holy cave till last evening, an official spokesman said here today. So far, 1,19,108 yatries returned to Pahalgam after darshan, while 1,57,498 yatries returned via Baltal.

Martyrs remembered on AWWA’s raising day
Jammu, August 23
To mark the 39th raising day of the Army Wives Welfare Association, Mrs Lakshmi Hari Prasad, president of the organisation, today paid homage to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the service of the country.


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Bedlam in J&K House, adjourned
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 23
Both Houses of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly were adjourned without any business for the third consecutive day today following pandemonium caused by the opposition National Conference over the Permanent Residents (Disqualification) Bill 2004.

The Legislative Council witnessed uproarious scenes followed by ransacking of the records and equipment on the table of its Secretary. This followed continued protest for the first 25 minutes by the National Conference, demanding the Bill in its original form for further dispensation. The trouble started with one of the members accusing Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh of using abusive language against the NC members for their support to the Bill. NC members also made similar accusations against one of the Congress ministers, Mr Mula Ram.

Several employees of the Council secretariat claimed that they received blows and bruises in the scuffle between NC and ruling party members.

The Chairman, Mr Abdul Rashid Dar, who faced a defeated no-confidence motion on the first day of the session on August 18 for “sabotaging” the Bill, had to adjourn the proceedings for the rest of the day.

Earlier, when the proceedings of the Assembly began, National Conference leader Abdul Rahim Rather, supported by his party members, drew the attention of the Speaker, Mr Tara Chand, to the adjournment motion due to the controversial Bill. Mr Rather demanded a report on the Bill in the House after it had been sent to the Upper House, even as he admitted that the Bill had lapsed for not having been taken up over the past five months. On this the Speaker asked the Secretary to read out the report about the Bill.

The Secretary reported that the Permanent Residents (Disqualification) Bill 2004, after being passed by the Assembly on March 5 last, had been sent to the Legislative Council. The Bill had not been passed by the Council as yet, the Secretary said in his report. But the uproar continued for about 15 minutes, leading to the adjournment of the House.

The Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who tried to intervene, could not make his statement over the controversial Bill. “You do not allow us,” the Chief Minister was heard saying. When the House resumed after 45 minutes, the Speaker sought business as scheduled, beginning with the tabling of two reports, one each by Deputy Chief Minister Mangat Ram Sharma and Finance Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh. This again caused a furore, leading to the adjournment for the rest of the day.

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CRPF defuses IED on Srinagar-Jammu highway

Srinagar, August 23
Five persons, including a Hizbul Mujahideen militant and a special police officer, were killed and seven others were injured in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, where security forces averted a major tragedy with the timely detection of a powerful IED on Srinagar-Jammu national highway today, official sources said.

The Hizbul Mujahideen militant, identified as Mohammad Ibrahim, was killed in an encounter at Warnav in Kupwara district early today and one AK rifle, three magazines, 47 rounds and a wireless set were recovered from him, they said.

The sources said militants shot dead SPO Bashir Ahmad Mir in the Sopore area of Baramula district this afternoon. A taxi driver Mohammad Maqbool Bhat was also injured in the shooting and was hospitalised.

The bullet-riddled bodies of two persons, identified as Faisal Rehman and Abdul Qadoos, were recovered from Sarfaroh in the Kangan area on the outskirts of Srinagar, the sources said, adding that the duo had been abducted and subsequently killed by unidentified gunmen.

Militants also abducted and later shot dead Manzoor Ahmad Qanai in the Beerwah area of Badgam district in central Kashmir, the sources said.

They said six civilians were injured when militants exploded a grenade in Pulwama district town of south Kashmir this afternoon.

The grenade was lobbed at a security patrol around 1.30 pm, but it missed the intended target and exploded on the road causing injuries to six pedestrians who have been hospitalised.

A major tragedy was averted when troops of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) detected a powerful IED at lower Munda near Qazigund, 80 km from here on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, this morning.

Traffic on the highway was immediately suspended and later the IED was neutralised by the bomb disposal squad of the local police around 10.20 am, they said, adding that the explosive was planted by militants apparently to target security vehicles which ply on the highway in large numbers daily.

Border Security Force recovered explosive material, including rockets and grenades, during an operation in Kupwara district of the state, a BSF spokesman said.

Acting on specific information, troops of 137 battalion BSF recovered two rockets with boosters, six grenades, a Japanese wireless set, three AK magazines with 182 rounds and an intercom wireless set from Wuyan forest last evening, the spokesman said.

He said the material was wrapped in a polythene bag and hidden under the root of a popular tree in a dry nullah in the area. — PTI

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Parties blame each other over daughters’ Bill row
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 23
The Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling PDP and the Opposition (National Conference) have blamed each other for the controversy over daughters’ Bill and failure to pass it in the Upper House, apart from hampering normal business of the state legislature. The Congress, main alliance partner of the coalition government, has maintained a “meaningful silence” over the issue.

The Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who could not make a statement over the Bill in the House due to pandemonium, blamed the Opposition National Conference for the melee. Talking to mediapersons after the Assembly was first adjourned for 45 minutes, Mufti Sayeed held that the NC members were “on the defensive”.

He said after the report read out by the Secretary there was no need to create further uproar. “The government has to respond,” Mufti commented, adding that there was “no use of making noise unless there is a response from the government”. He, however, declined to give his stand on the controversial Bill, saying that it would be given in the House only.

“They (NC) were not willing to pass the Bill earlier also,” Mufti said in reply to a question. He said even the former Chief Minister and National Conference patron Dr Farooq Abdullah had indicated this when the Bill was brought to the House in March, while he had referred to the marriage of his two daughters outside the state. “If they have the aim to pass the Bill, they must listen to us,” commented Mufti, adding that the NC members were creating unnecessary trouble. He added that his government had discussed the issue with all political parties and added that there was “no point of creating such a situation”.

On the other hand, the Opposition leader, Mr Abdul Rahim Rather, blamed the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the situation saying that frequent adjournment of the proceedings was the government’s “policy” of avoidance. “They did not allow us to speak,” Mr Rather said. He added that he had got an assurance from the Speaker, Mr Tara Chand, that preference would be given to the Bill, and only after that other matters would be taken up. He held that the government was creating the impression that it was only the NC that created trouble. He said this was an important issue the NC government did not take up the issue because then it was lying in a court of law.

He held that the coalition government withdrew an appeal in this regard in the Supreme Court. He made it clear that it was not a constitutional amendment but a simple piece of legislation that needed a simple majority. “When the Bill was passed in March the PDP had given its full support”, Rather claimed and added that now they had changed the stance.

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Militant outfits relax dress code stipulation
Our Correspondent

Jammu, August 23
The scene is changed in the valley as militant outfits no longer impose a dress code on Muslims, especially the women in Poonch, Rajouri and Doda districts.

School and college going girls can be seen moving around without purdah (veil) or even the Iranian-style headgear in Muslim dominated areas of Jammu and Kashmir. Many have also started wearing western dresses like jeans and trousers.

Senior police officers said during the past three years militants have not imposed any dress code because killing of three girls in the Thanamandi area in Rajouri, two years ago, for defying dress code had evoked a sharp reaction from all quarters. The anger of people against attacks on women in different parts of Kashmir had unnerved the militants.

The officers said the dress code imposed by various groups of militants, from time to time, between 1991 and 1997 was part of an attempt to make their presence felt. Later on they were allegedly advised by forces from across the border to desist from imposing a dress code and attacking those defying their orders with guns or acid.

At one stage in Kashmir groups of militants had stipulated a dress code for even menfolk who were asked to wear salwar- kameez. Muslims were even directed to grow a beard.

Militants were told that they could register their presence and supremacy only by carrying out spectacular strikes against the security forces and for that they needed support from people. Hence the idea of imposing a dress code has either been dropped or kept in abeyance.

Between 1991 and 1996 militants used to indulge in different methods of extortions. They would invariably barge into houses of civilians seeking shelter and food. After agencies across the border directed them to avoid forcing civilians to give food to them rebels, especially foreign mercenaries, now pay for whatever eatables they purchase from the market

In the hilly areas; porters have been engaged for bringing foodgrains and other items of daily use from the town or village markets for which the militants pay higher rates.

Between 1990 and 1991 militants had gone to the extent of asking people to adjust the time of their wrist watches and wall clocks as per the Pakistan time and to wear wrist watches on their right and not the left hand.

However, all this has become part of history after militants were told not to waste away their energy on such trivial issues.

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Lingam at Amarnath melts

Jammu, August 23
The ice lingam at the Amarnath cave shrine has melted much before the arrival of the holy mace, Chhari Mubarik, on August 30 due to environmental conditions.

The holy lingam at the shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas has melted 10 days ago due to environmental conditions, the Chief Executive Officer (Eco), of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), Mr Arun Kumar, said.

Accusing the state government for non-transfer of land for the preservation of the ice lingam, Mr Kumar said its preservation could not be undertaken by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) this year.

Mr Kumar said state government had failed to reply to our demands on land, road and infrastructure construction since the constitution of the Amarnath shrine board three years ago.

The melting of the holy lingam has caused disappointment to the pilgrims who visit the shrine for its darshan as there was a fall in the arrival of devotees after the melting, a spokesman of the hotels and restaurant association said.

The SASB was responsible for the untimely melting of the lingam three weeks before the arrival of Chhari Mubarik at Amarnath, he said, and added that it was the duty of SASB officials to ensure preservation of lingam for the final puja on Raksha Bandhan day.

Increase in temperature due to rush of pilgrims, use of cameras, burning of incense and other human interferences in the cave are responsible for lingam’s premature melting. — PTI

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2.78 lakh yatris had darshan at Amarnath
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 23
Out of 2.82 lakh pilgrims who visited the valley for Amarnath Yatra, 2,78,576 yatris had darshan of holy cave till last evening, an official spokesman said here today.

So far, 1,19,108 yatries returned to Pahalgam after darshan, while 1,57,498 yatries returned via Baltal.

The spokesman said that another batch of pilgrims comprising 183 male, 43 female and 10 children, arrived in the valley from Jammu today. According to Mahant Deepinder Giri, the Chhari Mubarak or holy mace would leave for the final phase of yatra on Wednesday along with sadhus and devotees. It would perform puja at the holy cave on August 30 on the occasion of Sharavan Purnima.

With this, 45-day-long Amarnath pilgrimage would come to an end. Earlier, the Chhari was taken to the historic temple of Shankeracharya on August 19 on the occasion of Samavati Amavasa and to the Sharika Temple Hari Parbat on August 20 for performing puja.

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Martyrs remembered on AWWA’s raising day
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 23
To mark the 39th raising day of the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA), Mrs Lakshmi Hari Prasad, president of the organisation, today paid homage to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the service of the country.

A function was held at Udhampur to mark the occasion.

Mrs Prasad inaugurated a children’s park in which an electrically-operated toy train has been installed. A skating rink has also been provided in the park.

The AWWA is looking after the widows of the soldiers and also boosting the morale of jawans, who are engaged in the ongoing counter-terrorist operations.

The role of the AWWA is crucial in the Northern Command, where terrorism-related casualties are reported almost daily.

Established in 1966, the AWWA has come to be known as the largest NGO in the country. The AWWA in the Northern Command is unique. Being part of a combat command, it works hand in hand to compliment the command’s operational ability.

According to Mrs Prasad, the wives of Army men regularly visit the wounded soldiers in the military hospitals and organise recreational activities for them. It has taken up the cause of war widows and has made a sterling contribution in monitoring their emoluments and providing them succour. It oversees the security and well being of separated families.

The organisation has recently started work aimed at social uplift and healing wounds of the people of the state. It has taken upon itself the task of educating children and empowering women in the state. It has published storybooks for children.

The AWWA has established several vocational training centres for the local women in the remote areas of the state. They are also being trained in computers.

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