SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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

Centre sabotaged Daughters’ Bill, feels NC
Jammu, August 30
The debate on the controversial Daughters’ Bill and its defeat in the Assembly have given birth to fresh mistrust among people in Kashmir against Delhi. The National Conference leadership has openly blamed Delhi for sabotaging the Bill. According to the leader of the opposition, Mr Abdul Rahim the Bill was defeated owing to the “machinations of the Congress.”

Four lakh paid obeisance at Amarnath shrine
Yatra concludes

Srinagar, August 30
The 45-day long Amarnath yatra concluded with special prayers on the occasion of shrawan purnima, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan today.

Sikh jathas to leave for Amritsar
Jammu, August 30
The Sikh Dharam Parchar and Welfare Committee of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to carry jathas from here on September 4 to Amritsar for participation in the fourth centenary calebrations of Guru Granth Sahib.

4 Lashkar militants killed in J&K
Jammu, August 30

Four Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were gunned down by the security forces and a jawan lost his life in an encounter in the Chingus forest area in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir last night, official sources said today.



YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES

 

Hajra Begum, weeps as she holds a photo of her missing son Bashir Ahmad Sofi, during a conference of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Person Agonising wait for loved ones
Srinagar, August 30
This is not only her story but of many others in the trouble-torn Kashmir valley, suffering from militancy for the past about 15 years. Ms Hajra Sofi, an elderly woman from Onagam village in the Bandipora area of Baramulla district in north Kashmir, craves to have a glimpse of her son Bashir Ahmad, who, she alleges was picked up by security forces about eight years ago.



Hajra Begum, weeps as she holds a photo of her missing son Bashir Ahmad Sofi, during a conference of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Person (APDP), in Srinagar on Monday.
— Reuters photo

Top



 

 

 


 

Centre sabotaged Daughters’ Bill, feels NC
M.L. Kak

Jammu, August 30
The debate on the controversial Daughters’ Bill and its defeat in the Assembly have given birth to fresh mistrust among people in Kashmir against Delhi. The National Conference leadership has openly blamed Delhi for sabotaging the Bill. According to the leader of the opposition, Mr Abdul Rahim the Bill was defeated owing to the “machinations of the Congress.”

He said it was the result of congress manipulation that the Speaker ruled that for the adoption of the Bill a two-third majority was needed when it could have been passed with a simple majority.

Mr Tariq Ahmed, connected with the print media, said that for the common people in Kashmir the Congress represented Delhi and the stiff opposition from the Congress members in the Assembly was being viewed as opposition from Delhi.

The PDP leadership had sent a communication to the AICC President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, requesting her to direct the Congress members to support the Bill. A senior PDP leader told this correspondent today that “we were simply told that the congress high command was examining the matter.”

He quipped: “While the AICC was examining the matter, the Bill was defeated because of lack of support from the Congress in the Assembly.”

Political observers here are of the opinion that Kashmiri separatists may not hesitate using the congress role in defeating the Bill as a tool for promoting peoples’ alienation.

These observers explain that since the separatists had been blaming Delhi for “colonising” Kashmir the controversy over the Bill would be cited as an instance of Delhi’s direct and indirect interference in the running of the Government in Kashmir.

However, loss of the Congress in the Kashmir valley is its gain in the Jammu region where a majority of the people have been against adoption of the Daughters’ bill.

Against this the majority of men folk in the valley have been in favour of adoption of the Bill as that could help them to deprive their women, who marry non-state subjects, of the right of inheritance.

Inside reports said Muslims abhor seeing their girls marry people from outside the state and hence to them the adoption of the Bill could act as a check on those willing to marry boys of their choice who are not state subjects.

Fears in Muslim families in the valley have been compounded after a large number of muslim girls have gone outside the valley for their studies in professional colleges. Many of them are in foreign countries, including Russia. Others have not been shy in accepting jobs outside the valley. Their parents do not want these girls to marry boys of other communities and those who are not citizens of Jammu and Kashmir.

Top

 

Four lakh paid obeisance at Amarnath shrine
Yatra concludes
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 30
The 45-day long Amarnath yatra concluded with special prayers on the occasion of shrawan purnima, coinciding with Raksha Bandhan today. The pilgrimage was extended by 15 days this year for two auspicious shrawan purnimas that fell on July 31 and August 30 leading to an all-time record of over four lakh devotees paying obeisance at the shrine.

The Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieut-Gen S.K. Sinha (retd), who is also chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, joined the Chari Mubark (holy mace) in offering pujas at the shrine, led by Mahant Deepinder Giri, Mahant of Dashnami Akhara, this morning.

“For a second consecutive year the yatra has been peaceful," the Governor said while thanking the Almighty and complimenting the security forces, the police and the people. He had a special praise for the locals for keeping available the puja material en route the cave shrine and providing logistical support.

General Sinha also announced that a ‘dwaar’ would be erected at the footsteps of the shrine with a plaque depicting the history of the shrine that had a unique distinction of being discovered by a Muslim shepherd, Buta Malik.

To preserve the holy ‘lingam’ for long, the Governor said a modern technique would be adopted to ensure that the holy ‘lingam’ did not melt as it always did half way through the yatra. This would be done without touching it or interfering with its formation in any manner, General Sinha added. The Chief Executive Officer of the board, Dr Arun Kumar, said cash offerings totalling Rs 2.70 crore besides silver and gold ornaments were made at the shrine.

Meanwhile, the Governor and the Chief Minister have greeted the people of the state on the auspicious occasion of Rakhsha Bandhan.

Top

 

Sikh jathas to leave for Amritsar
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 30
The Sikh Dharam Parchar and Welfare Committee of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to carry jathas from here on September 4 to Amritsar for participation in the fourth centenary calebrations of Guru Granth Sahib.

This was announced here today by the committee that has been set up by Mahant Manjeet Singh of Dera Nangali Sahib, Poonch.

The committee would organise a massive Khalsa march and nagar kirtan from various parts of the state to Amritsar.

Mr Mohinder Singh Khalsa, convener of the Sikh Naujawan Sudhar Sabha, has urged all sections of society to participate in the historic occasion. 

Top

 

4 Lashkar militants killed in J&K

Jammu, August 30
Four Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were gunned down by the security forces and a jawan lost his life in an encounter in the Chingus forest area in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir last night, official sources said today.

Troops launched an operation in the forest belt near the Line of Control acting on BSF inputs, leading to a gunbattle between the militants and the Army personnel, they said.

Four LeT militants were gunned down by the Army men, the sources said, adding a jawan died on the spot and two others were injured.

The recoveries made from the spot included four AK rifles, over 20 grenades, a pika gun, one UBGL, 24 magazines, 300 rounds, two IEDs and four mines, besides some currency and other articles.

The deacesed jawan was identified as Sepoy Sankhma.

SRINAGAR: An unidentified militant was killed and a jawan injured in an encounter, while a major tragedy was averted with the timely detection of an IED in Jammu and Kashmir today, official sources said.

Acting on a specific information, Rashtriya Rifles personnel launched a search-and-cordon operation at Machin-Fidarpora village in the Rafiabad area of Baramula district this morning to flush out hiding militants, the sources said.

As the troops moved for house-to-house searches, militants opened fire, injuring a jawan, the sources said, adding troops fired back and in the ensuing encounter a militant, whose identity was not known, was killed.

They said the operation in the village was still continuing.

A major tragedy was averted when the police detected a powerful IED on the Srinagar-Badgam road this morning, the sources said. — PTI

Top

 

Three soldiers killed in blast

Srinagar, August 30
Three soldiers were killed in a blast in Kargil in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir today, official sources said here. Sources said the blast took place in an Army unit at Akchinmal village, resulting in the on-the-spot death of three soldiers — A. Ramesh, Slinban and Nand Kumar.

Defence sources said the blast took place when the three were working on a wielding machine, which exploded.

However, the police has registered an FIR.

Police sources said a team of experts, which visited the blast site, did not find any splinters of the wielding machine as reported by the Defence authorities. — UNI

Top

 

Agonising wait for loved ones
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 30
This is not only her story but of many others in the trouble-torn Kashmir valley, suffering from militancy for the past about 15 years. Ms Hajra Sofi, an elderly woman from Onagam village in the Bandipora area of Baramulla district in north Kashmir, craves to have a glimpse of her son Bashir Ahmad, who, she alleges was picked up by security forces about eight years ago.

Ms Hajra Begum was here today among scores of others like her to attend a meeting organised by the Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared. “Stop disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere” was the main focus of the kith and kin of the disappeared persons. Wearing white bands with the names of the disappeared persons, inscribed on them, they expressed their concern over the apathetic attitude of the authorities. They claimed that there was no end to the forced disappearances at the hands of various security agencies.

Having lost her three other young sons during militancy, Ms Hajra Begum (Sofi) awaits the return of Bashir Ahmad, who was reportedly picked up by security forces from a bakery shop in the village, where he had been working on a meagre salary. One of her sons, Ajaz Ahmad, was killed reportedly in an encounter with security forces about 14 months ago. Her two elder brothers, Nazir Ahmad and Mohammad Rafiq, had also died under similar circumstances separately since the beginning of militancy. Their father, who made two ends meet by daily labour, has lost all hope and is a wreck.

Another young woman, Razia Sultan, from Salamabad village near the border town of Uri has been jailed for over three years for her untiring efforts to trace her father, Raja Ali Mardan Khan. Khan had left his home for duty on May 13, 1990, but did not return. Some acquaintances of the area had informed the family that Khan had been among a few others boarding a security forces vehicle. Razia Sultan has been knocking the doors of the authorities to know the whereabouts of her father. She claimed that due to her efforts, she was branded a “militant” and jailed for three years.

Mr Parvez Imroz, a lawyer, pleading the cause of such persons, said our demand has been to probe such cases since 1989. It had been decided that in case this was not done, the APDP would constitute a Peoples Tribunal. This would comprise retired human rights judges and human rights defenders in Kashmir and outside. He said the government gave a figure of only 3,744 disappeared persons, “while we have evidence that there are at least 8,000-10,000 such persons”. This, he said, was an issue pertaining to over three lakh relatives of the disappeared persons. He also referred to cases of 141 “enforced or involuntary disappearances” that were reported and investigated by the APDP since the coalition government took over in November 2002.

Mr Imroz pointed out that the government with the help of security agencies was “trying to externalise the Kashmir issue” by branding locals as foreign militants killed in various encounters. There were 12 such cases, where bodies had been exhumed on the intervention of the relatives of those missing, and confirmed that they were all locals, Mr Imroz said.

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |