SPECIAL COVERAGE
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DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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

Presidentís two-day visit from today
Strike call by APHC (Geelani)
Srinagar, July 27
The security agencies have been put on maximum alert in Jammu and Kashmir in view of two-day visit of President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. His visit begins from Ladakh on Friday morning. Several separatist organisations have extended support to general strike call given by APHC leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in protest against the Presidentís visit.

High Courtís diamond jubilee celebrations tomorrow
Srinagar, July 27
The institution of judiciary in Jammu and Kashmir exists from early times though in a crude form. With time, dispensation of justice kept on undergoing change and posts of Dharmadhiyasha, Rajasithaniya, Setheya, Qazi, Mir Adal etc. were created for efficiency.

Pak, Afghan ultras to be shifted from jails
Jammu, July 27
The arrest of a Pakistanís ISI conduit while trying to smuggle Rs.35,000 inside the high security jail at Kot-Bhalwal here has rung warning bells for the state government. It has decided to immediately shift 19 hardcore terrorists from here to prisons in other states.

Terrorists in Army: court of inquiry likely
Jammu, July 27
The arrest of three soldiers for their alleged connections with terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has not only embarrassed the Army authorities, but also necessitated a review of the governmentís policy of recruiting residents of the border areas in the defence and paramilitary forces.



YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES



One killed, 6 injured in grenade attack
Bhaderwah, July 27
One person was killed and six others, including three children, were injured in a grenade attack on a house at Misri Pranu in Doda district last night, the police said here today.

Ladakh Ekta Utsav inaugurated
Jammu, July 27
The Leh town wore a deserted look as almost the entire local population went to the Phyang gompa to participate in the Ladakh Ekta Utsav that was inaugurated today. The congregation at the gompa was another attraction for the people.



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Presidentís two-day visit from today
Strike call by APHC (Geelani)
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 27
The security agencies have been put on maximum alert in Jammu and Kashmir in view of two-day visit of President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. His visit begins from Ladakh on Friday morning. Several separatist organisations have extended support to general strike call given by APHC leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in protest against the Presidentís visit.

The Presidentís Jammu and Kashmir visit will begin from Leh in the frontier cold desert region of Ladakh, where he is scheduled to attend functions at Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre and Degree College, Leh. The security arrangements in Leh were reviewed at a high-level meeting of the senior officers of the Air Force, the Army, the ITBP, and the ITBF.

This would be followed by the Presidentís address to a joint session of state legislature here tomorrow.

After nightís stay in the summer capital, the President will inaugurate diamond jubilee function of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Saturday. Those attending the diamond jubilee celebration, include the Chief Justice of India, other judges of the Supreme Court and eminent jurists. The inaugural function of the celebrations will be presided over by Chief Justice of India Y.K. Sabharwal.

Union Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj will also attend the celebrations. Apart from visiting dignitaries, former judges of the state high court and those who having reached the Supreme Court, lawyers who have spent over five decades will also be among those present on the occasion.

Those being honoured include Justice A.S. Anand, a former Chief Justice of India, Justice H.K. Sema, a judge of the Supreme Court, Justice R.P. Sethi, a former judge of the Supreme Court, Justice V. Khalid, a former Supreme Court Judge, and Justice Sagir Ahmad, a former Supreme Court Judge, judges of the state high court transferred to other high courts and all Justices of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

The police and security forces have intensified vigil in the city. All vehicles entering the city are being checked. Check posts have also been raised at several places, particularly along the areas through which the President will pass.

The APHC led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the JKLF, the Dukhtaran-e-Millat have given call for a strike for two days in view of the Presidentís visit. The Kashmir High Court Bar Association has decided to boycott the inaugural function to be attended by the President.

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High Courtís diamond jubilee celebrations tomorrow
Ehsan Fazli
Tribune News Service

A number of prominent jurists from all over the country are likely to take part in the joint session of the legislature to be addressed by the President, Dr A.PJ. Abdul Kalam, in connection with the golden jubilee celebrations of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in Srinagar.
A number of prominent jurists from all over the country are likely to take part in the joint session of the legislature to be addressed by the President, Dr A.PJ. Abdul Kalam, in connection with the golden jubilee celebrations of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in Srinagar. ó Photo by Amin War

Srinagar, July 27
The institution of judiciary in Jammu and Kashmir exists from early times though in a crude form. With time, dispensation of justice kept on undergoing change and posts of Dharmadhiyasha, Rajasithaniya, Setheya, Qazi, Mir Adal etc. were created for efficiency.

Administration of justice has been part of governance in Jammu and Kashmir. Kalhan, 12th century historian, has given a detailed account of judicial system in ancient Kashmir. In ancient and medieval Kashmir, the king dispensed justice. Judicial system on modern lines in Jammu and Kashmir began with Maharaja Ranbir Singh who took interest in organising justice system at the district and tehsil level. and Ranbir Penal Code was the first codified law in the princely states. In 1857, two Chief Judge Courts were set up at Srinagar and Jammu and after two decades number of courts rose to 25. In 1877 a high court was set up in the state which worked within the confines of and as part of the durbar. When the Code of Criminal Procedure came into force in 1912, the high court became the highest court of criminal appeals and revisions. But an independently high court, headed by a chief justice and comprising two. Thus the puisne judges in 1928 high court of Jammu and Kashmir has the distinction of being the first locally set up high court in the country.

The Constitution Act of 1939 is a milestone in the history of the stateís Judiciary as on September 10, 1943 the Maharaja issued Letters Patent to the high court. Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court was extended to the Jammu and Kashmir with the promulgation of Constitution Order 1954 and the high court was empowered to issue writs, directions and orders. The Supreme Court held a court at Srinagar to hear the appeals. Jammu and Kashmir was the only state in the country where this was done.

In 1957, the high court was made a Court of Record with powers to punish for contempt. District and Sessions court in every district headquarter started in 1964. The stateís legislature passed an Act providing for the separation of judiciary from the executive in 1967. The jurisdiction of the high court was enlarged through Article 226 of the Constitution of India to enabling it to issue writs to any government or authority in the country.

The high court of Jammu and Kashmir saw changes during 75 years of existence. Number of judges increased from three to 14.

In the past nine months, about 15000 cases have been decided most of which belong to priority litigation.

Two hundred lok adalats have been held in the past nine months and 4000 cases decided. About Rs 6.25 crore was awarded as compensation. Cases involving Rs 25 crore were decided by special lok adalats held in the earthquake-affected areas within five weeks. Recognition of this effort came from the President of India when during his visit to Uri he suggested organising similar mobile courts in other parts of the country.

Important PILs pertaining to protection and preservation of water bodies like Dal Lake, controlling air pollution, streamlining traffic, removal of encroachments, upgrading of health services, were dealt with by the high court. The high court of the state is among the first few courts in the country to computerise all district courts. All subordinate courts at Jammu have also been computerised. Litigants and lawyers monitor the progress of their cases on the website without visiting the court. Local Area Network (LAN) has been established in the Srinagar and Jammu wings of the high court for judges, lawyers and litigants. Infrastructure development projects worth Rs 115 crore are cleared in the current year. These include district court complex Srinagar, block of high court, Srinagar, lawyers chambers at Srinagar and Jammu besides Judicial Academy complex. 

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Pak, Afghan ultras to be shifted from jails
S. P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 27
The arrest of a Pakistanís ISI conduit while trying to smuggle Rs.35,000 inside the high security jail at Kot-Bhalwal here has rung warning bells for the state government. It has decided to immediately shift 19 hardcore terrorists from here to prisons in other states.

The terrorists that have been short listed for being transferred to other jails mostly belong to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The ISI conduit was arrested by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) earlier this week when he handed over the money to a jail official for being delivered to certain Pakistani terrorists inside the prison.

During interrogation, the conduit, who runs a shop just outside the jail, is learnt to have said that the envelope containing the money was given to him by some unidentified Kashmiri- speaking youth who said the packet would be collected by a jail official.

However, the IB personnel in the area came to know about the transaction and nabbed the jail official and the conduit.

This has forced the authorities to review the security aspects within the jail where many high profile terrorists are imprisoned.

Due to the alleged involvement of a jail official in the incident, the authorities do not want to take any chance and have decided to immediately shift 19 terrorists to various jails in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Punjab. Terrorists had made several futile attempts of jail break from here in the past.

Initially, the government wanted to shift some local terrorists to jails at Nahan and Shimla from here. However, the proposal was withdrawn as the jails in Himachal Pradesh are not geared up to handle hardcore terrorists.

At the moment, besides hundreds of terrorists, there are about 50 foreign mercenaries lodged in the jail at Kot-Bhalwal. Pakistani and local Kashmiri terrorists have clashed within the prison several times. Many of them were injured in a recent clash on a dispute over the surrender by some local terrorists when the foreign mercenaries made abusive remarks against the locals.

The nexus between the jail authorities and the terrorists was exposed a few years ago when certain political leaders, bureaucrats and police officers were frequently allowed to visit the out of bounds premises to seek blessings from the hardcore terrorist Azhar Masood who was later freed in exchange of passengers of the Indian Airlines aircraft which was hijacked to Kandhar in December 1999. He reportedly used to gift ďtaweezĒ to the VIP visitors.

Azhar was a clergyman from Bahawalpur in Pakistan and founder of the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist outfit. He figures in the list of the top 20 criminals whose repatriation has been sought by India from Pakistan.

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Terrorists in Army: court of inquiry likely
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 27
The arrest of three soldiers for their alleged connections with terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has not only embarrassed the Army authorities, but also necessitated a review of the governmentís policy of recruiting residents of the border areas in the defence and paramilitary forces.

All three arrested soldiers belong to Gursai village, near the Line of Control (LoC), in Poonch district and were recruited in the Jammu Kashmir Light Infantry (JKLI), a regiment of the Army.

Sources in the Army said a court of inquiry would be constituted to look into the alleged connection of these soldiers with the terrorist outfit. The incident has made the authorities put the village under a scanner and recheck antecedents of those recruited in the Army and paramilitary forces from the area.

Gursai village had been notorious for terrorist attacks almost every day in spite of the Army and the CRPF presence there. Terrorists attacked the police station in the village for two successive days last week and also exploded a grenade in a bunker of the CRPF. The area also hit the headlines as families of serving soldiers, ex-servicemen and police personnel were frequently targeted by the militants.

Three soldiers have reportedly told the military intelligence personnel during interrogation that they were forced to act as workers of the outfit as there was a threat to eliminate their families incase they did not oblige the militants.

The two arrested personnel of the India Reserve Police (IRP), deployed in the area to protect innocent people, also belonged to Poonch district. The two were allegedly involved in transporting arms and ammunition to the terrorist hideouts. A brother of one of these policemen was alleged to be an active member of a terrorist outfit.

Reports indicate that the state police, which is responsible for checking the antecedents of those selected for recruitment to the armed forces, hardly has any time for the job. Instances were there when the police withdrew the okayed character verification reports of certain elements in the police after they were arrested in connection with incidents of terrorism. The character verification reports of three jawans of the Territorial Army were recently withdrawn by the police after they were arrested in Doda district.

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One killed, 6 injured in grenade attack

Bhaderwah, July 27
One person was killed and six others, including three children, were injured in a grenade attack on a house at Misri Pranu in Doda district last night, the police said here today.

According to the police, the militants suspected to be members of the Hizbul-Mujahideen outfit, hurled a grenade on the house of Ghulam Mohammad, killing a girl (Sakeena Bano) on the spot and injured six others.

The injured were identified as Ghulam Mohammad, Imran, Salman, Rashid and two other women of the house. They were admitted to the Civil Hospital here, the police added.

The police said the son of Ghulam Mohammad, Shabbir Ahmed, was an ex-militant and this could be the reason behind the attack.

In another incident, militants barged into the house of Wali Mohammad at Sajan village and killed a young girl, Zubadia, by slitting her throat in a cowshed. Militants escaped after committing the crime. ó UNI

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Ladakh Ekta Utsav inaugurated
S.P.Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 27
The Leh town wore a deserted look as almost the entire local population went to the Phyang gompa to participate in the Ladakh Ekta Utsav that was inaugurated today. The congregation at the gompa was another attraction for the people.

The utsav, an initiative by the armed forces and the civil administration, was inaugurated by the GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Lt-Gen Deepak Kapur.

The main markets of Leh wore a deserted look as most of the tourists, local residents and shopkeepers had gone to participate in the utsav and the mela at the Phyang gompa.

Dedicating the utsav to the people of Ladakh, the GOC-in-C described Ladakh as the role model for religious harmony and brotherhood in spite of militancy in the rest of Jammu and Kashmir.

He exhorted the people of Ladakh to continue to fight divisive forces with all their might and foster the spirit of national integration and consciousness in one and all.

He complimented the brave citizens of Ladakh for fighting the enemy in all wars since independence standing shoulder to shoulder with the Indian armed forces.

The inauguration ceremony was followed by a dazzling display of skydiving and flypast by helicopters of Army Aviation that showered flower petals. Huge hot-air balloons displayed in bold the bond between the people of Ladakh and the armed forces.

There was an amazing performance of martial arts and archery by the Army and people of Ladakh. There was also a breathtaking show put up by Army canines and horses from Northern Command.

They displayed a show that pictured talent and discipline. The horse riders gracefully performed tent-pegging, trick-riding and show-jumping. Army personnel performed slithering action followed by the capture of a simulated enemy objective.

Parasailing and para-motor also brightened the skies. The armed forces also displayed various weapons and equipment for the people of Ladakh to know more about their saviors against external and internal aggression.

General Kapur said Ladakh continues to prosper, progress and develop while retaining its distinct culture. He described the utsav as a unique occasion that would showcase the multi-cultural heritage of Ladakh.

Lt-Gen J.K. Mohanty, GOC, 14 Corps, and Air Vice-Marshal S.K. Gahlot were present on the 
occasion.

Traditional dance forms like leizum of Maharashtra, bhangra of Punjab, khukri dance of the Gurkhas and local dances from all regions of Ladakh thrilled the audience.

Several competitions, especially for students, were held. Painting competitions, elocution competitions, baby shows, polo matches, archery competitions were held all over Ladakh eliciting a huge and enthusiastic response.

A kisan mela, medical and veterinary camps were inaugurated by Mrs Kirti Kapur. There were number of stalls for games and refreshments that attracted children.

In the evening there were polo matches among various teams of Ladakh and Ladakh Scouts and archery competitions among various teams of Ladakh that were played in the traditional style.

Volleyball matches were played between Army, ITBP and local teams. The evening also witnessed loads of laughter and shouting during the tug-of-war between local and Army teams.

The utsav saw huge participation and interaction between the local population and the armed forces that brought out the spirit of communal harmony.

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