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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Forum sans chief, defunct
Jammu, October 9
More than 1,000 appeals of harassed consumers are pending for final arguments with the J&K State Consumer Commission, lying virtually defunct for the past 18 months after its chairman completed his term. The state government has failed to appoint a new president of the three-member commission as consumers continue to be a harassed lot at the hands of traders.

Do not hurry to open trade routes on LoC: BJP
Jammu, October 9
The BJP today asked the government not to hurry in the opening of trade between India and Pakistan from the three routes opened on Line of Control (LoC) as it might help inter-services intelligence (ISI) to push in  terrorists arms and ammunition. The point came up here at the second meeting of the high-level committee on confidence building measures (CBMs) relating to trade between the two sides of J&K that is headed by Mr M.K. Rasgotra, former Foreign secretary.

One killed, 8 arrested
Srinagar, October 9
Militants killed a contractor, while the security forces averted a major tragedy even as eight ultras were apprehended in Jammu and Kashmir during the past 24 hours, an official spokesman said today.


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Forum sans chief, defunct
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 9
More than 1,000 appeals of harassed consumers are pending for final arguments with the J&K State Consumer Commission, lying virtually defunct for the past 18 months after its chairman completed his term.

The state government has failed to appoint a new president of the three-member commission as consumers continue to be a harassed lot at the hands of traders.

Mr Justice M.Y. Kawoosa retired as president of the forum in April last year.

Another member, Ms Jameela Begum, retired over an year ago, leaving a single member, Mr Khalid Basheer, to hold the fort.

The lone member was not in a position to hear final arguments in the absence of the chairman.

Although the state is a lucrative market for consumer goods manufacturers, in the absence of the commission, they have no door to knock in disputes involving an amount of over Rs 5 lakh.

Mr Justice Permod Kohli directed the Chief Secretary on February 20 last to constitute a selection committee for the appointment of the president of the commission.

On December 14 last, a division bench of the high court, consisting of Mr Justice R.C. Gandhi and Mr Justice J.P. Singh, directed the state government not to appoint a retired Judge of the high court, a district judge or an officer or person against such a post without consultation of the Chief Justice of the state high court till further orders.

The divisional forums at Jammu and Srinagar had been handling disputes of below Rs 5 lakh, but in the absence of the state forum, disputes involving higher amounts had been lying pending.

Even with a single member functioning, the forum did not have adequate manpower to handle the load of work.

The commission member has reportedly been asking for a trained stenographer.

The official car and driver of the commission have been attached with a senior officer in the secretariat.

The state government has not taken effective steps to strengthen the consumers movement in the state, that continues to be a sellers’ market.

Consumers are being fleeced by certain multinationals and domestic manufacturers, which have failed to provide proper after-sale service in the state.

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Do not hurry to open trade routes on LoC: BJP
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 9
The BJP today asked the government not to hurry in the opening of trade between India and Pakistan from the three routes opened on Line of Control (LoC) as it might help inter-services intelligence (ISI) to push in 
terrorists arms and ammunition.

The point came up here at the second meeting of the high-level committee on confidence building measures (CBMs) relating to trade between the two sides of J&K that is headed by Mr M.K. Rasgotra, former Foreign secretary. This is one of the five committees set up by Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh for a solution to the Kashmir crisis.

The BJP representative on the committee, Mr Ashok Khajuria, said now as investigations into the Mumbai train blasts indicate the hand of Pakistan the government should not open the trade routes in a hurry. We should wait and watch till the exact position crystallized.

Members of the committee belonging to other parties, including the Congress, the PDP, the National Conference (NC) and the Panthers Party, however wanted that CBMs should be taken to ease tension by opening the routes for trade.

They suggested the procedure of issuing permit to those intending to meet their relations across LoC should be simplified. The district authorities of Poonch should be empowered to issue the permit without making the applicants come to Jammu for the purpose.

Certain members wanted that the law pertaining to the evacuee property should be amended so that no visitor from PoK could claim the property he had left here while migrating across the LoC. They pointed out many visitors from PoK had started staking claim for the property transferred to the Evacuees’ Property Department. Much litigation has come in this respect.

Finance Minister, Tariq Hameed Qarra, who represented the PDP, opposed the demand and said that the existing laws were sufficient and the original owners could apply for the restoration of their property.

Mr Rasgotra said the third meeting of the committee would be held at Delhi.

Among others, Mr. Bhim Singh (Panthers Party), Mr. Abdul Gani Vakil (Congress) and Mian Altaf (NC) also participated in the meeting.

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One killed, 8 arrested

Srinagar, October 9
Militants killed a contractor, while the security forces averted a major tragedy even as eight ultras were apprehended in Jammu and Kashmir during the past 24 hours, an official spokesman said today.

A militant of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) surrendered before the security forces at Bucher Post on the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramula district along with one pistol, one magazine and five rounds last evening.

He said militants kidnapped a contractor, Bashir Ahmad Wani, at Sumblar, Bandipora, in North Kashmir on October 4. Wani’s body was recovered from the nearby fields this morning.

Security forces apprehended two militants each from the Sopore and Bandipora areas in Baramula district. The Jammu and Kashmir police also arrested three persons here and seized one pistol, one magazine, and Rs 2 lakh from them while a Harkat-ul-Jehadi-e-Islami activist was nabbed. — UNI

 

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