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Azad govt against mercy for terrorists
Jammu, December 30
The week-long special session of the two Houses of the legislature, which concluded here today, witnessed a major shift in the anti-terrorism policy of the state government with Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad unfolding his bullet-for-bullet strategy to check the menace in the state.

HC wants CNG for vehicles in J&K
Srinagar, December 30
Concerned over rising pollution levels, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Union Petroleum Ministry and oil companies to facilitate introduction of Compressed Natural Gas for vehicles in the state.

Autonomy, quake, Baglihar project remained at centrestage
Jammu:
The proposals of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, self-rule and joint control of India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir were the issues that dominated in the year as a solution to the Kashmir problem.


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Azad govt against mercy for terrorists
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 30
The week-long special session of the two Houses of the legislature, which concluded here today, witnessed a major shift in the anti-terrorism policy of the state government with Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad unfolding his bullet-for-bullet strategy to check the menace in the state.

Although Mr Azad made it clear that human rights abuse and custodial deaths would not be tolerated, he stressed that no sympathy would be shown to those who were carrying the gun.

This is for the first time in the past three years ever since the Congress-PDP coalition government came to power that the Chief Minister has minced no words while sending a warning signal to the terrorists that they should be prepared to get killed as they had themselves come here to target innocent people. No mercy would be shown towards them, he has said.

Mr Azadís strategy is expected to boost the morale of the security forces that occasionally received brickbats from the PDP.

For the first time in the past several years the business of the Assembly was conducted in a relaxed atmosphere although the Opposition, the National Conference (NC), being the single-largest party in the House.

The NC adopted a positive approach by supporting the Azad government on major issues. However, the Mufti camp was not relishing the growing friendly relations between Mr Azad and the NC.

The unanimous passing of the Bills seeking to tighten the noose around the neck of corrupt officials and prevent defection by legislators indicates the sincerity in the crusade of Mr Azad against corruption. Having a separate constitution, the central law pertaining to the size of ministry was not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, but a Bill restricting the size of the Council of Ministers at 20 per cent of the strength of the two Houses was passed during the session.

Not a single MLA was against these legislations as they unanimously favoured that an environment should be created in which the stigma of Jammu and Kashmir being the most corrupt state in the country was wiped off.

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HC wants CNG for vehicles in J&K

Srinagar, December 30
Concerned over rising pollution levels, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the Union Petroleum Ministry and oil companies to facilitate introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for vehicles in the state.

The direction was passed by the Division Bench of the court, comprising Chief Justice B A Khan and Justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani, while hearing a traffic case on Tuesday despite vacation of the court, sources said today.

The court also directed the state government to constitute a high-level committee to prepare a traffic management and regulation plan within seven days.

The committee after considering the report of CNG committee constituted on court directions will propose necessary action to the state Chief Secretary, who will approach the Union Petroleum Minister and oil companies concerned to get sanctions for creating infrastructure facilities to supply CNG to the state, the court said.

The Division Bench also directed the committee to consider the action plan of Transport Department for enforcement of the apex court directions regarding entry of heavy vehicles in two cities of Srinagar and Jammu between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The court said that in case of breach of the apex court orders, the committee would be held responsible.

Meanwhile, the court has directed the state Transport Commissioner to take steps to set up 30 more pollution testing centres within one month.

At present, there are 27 pollution checking centres in Srinagar and Jammu.

The court also directed managing directors of oil companies supplying petrol, diesel and other petroleum products to the state to provide four testing vans to the state in two weeks for testing their productsí quality. ó PTI

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Autonomy, quake, Baglihar project remained at centrestage
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu: The proposals of autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir, self-rule and joint control of India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir were the issues that dominated in the year as a solution to the Kashmir problem.

While the opposition National Conference (NC) claimed that autonomy for the state could meet aspirations of the people, the US based Kashmir Study Group (KSG) has created ripples by proposing self-rule. Another group has suggested joint control of India and Pakistan over the state.

Break-away Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani stuck to his demand that India should fulfil its commitment of a plebiscite whereunder the people of the state would decide whether they wanted to remain with India or go with Pakistan.

A plethora of remedies being proposed by various quarters for solving the Kashmir problem have confused the common man and created uncertainty here.

The conglomerate of separatists, the Hurriyat Conference, again has been allowed by the Centre to visit the earthquake-hit areas in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). They were allowed to visit PoK even earlier this year.

Ice between the Centre and the Hurriyat was broken when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited them for talks and discussed various issues. The Hurriyat leaders now were waiting for another round of talks.

The earthquake of October 8 raised several questions about the relief and rehabilitation of the victims. Complaints of irregularities by the authorities concerned were received from various places.

The 450 MW Baglihar hydroelectric project remained in focus as Pakistan raised objections to its construction on the Chenab to Jammu division.

A World Bank nominated expert team visited the project site to sort out the dispute and is expected to submit its report shortly. Another team of the Indus Water Commission in Pakistan also visited the project and examined various works.

The demand for the downsizing of the ministry in Jammu and Kashmir was another issue that was raised during the year. As the law passed by Parliament in this respect was not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, the NC, the BJP and the Panthers Party demanded that the size of the ministry in the state should be curtailed.

New Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, so far has tried to keep the size of his ministry small. He has not succumbed to the pressure of inducting more ministers.

With the onset of winter, power crisis has again surfaced in the state. While most of the power projects in the state were either generating much below their installed capacity or were lying shut, the demand for electricity was being met through borrowed energy.

The BJP and the Panthers Party accused the state government of not implementing the points of the common minimum programme (CMP) that were related to the Jammu region. They alleged that the discrimination against the region should end and the government should implement the Wazir Commission report and appoint a delimitation commission.

While the Wazir Commission had recommended the creation of three new districts in Jammu, the demand for the delimitation commission was being made, as there were complaints of few number of Assembly constituencies in Jammu where the population and were was more than that of the Kashmir valley.

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