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Art 370 is permanent till plebiscite is held: Farooq

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 9: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Tuesday said that Article 370 of the Constitution was permanent provision till a plebiscite is held in the state.

Addressing an election rally at Hazratbal on the banks of Dal Lake, Farooq said that upcoming parliamentary elections will decide whether India would remain “secular” or not.  

“They (BJP) want to bloom only one rose. They want to make us slaves. Indian Muslims won’t live like slaves,” the National Conference president said, who is also party’s candidate for central Kashmir parliamentary seat.

 

He accused BJP of being responsible for killings in Kashmir.

“They are responsible for killings in the last five years. You spread hatred over the years and have forced youth, who faced harassment, to pick up the guns. How many dead bodies you want Rajnath Singh?” he asked, while saying that the Union Home Minister has said that ban on civilian traffic for two days won’t be revoked.

Referring to BJP’s manifesto, the former chief minister said that Article 370 of the constitution was permanent provision till plebiscite was held in the state.

“They want us to be slaves. We accede to India to get equal respect. Our accession is based on communication, foreign affairs, and defence. We have already passed a resolution for restoration of Autonomy to the state,” he said, asking people to vote in favour of NC candidates. “This election will decide whether India will remain secular or not.”

In the manifesto, the BJP said they are committed to abrogate Article 370 and Article 35 A.  “We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to abrogation of Article 370. We are committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir,” reads the manifesto.

Farooq claimed that BJP was leveling baseless allegations against him that he made “huge” money over the years. “I did not make any money. Whatever property I have is inherent or purchased from that property. Had I been their man (associated with BJP), I would have been like Anil Ambani. Where did the BJP get Rs 8,000 crore which they spent on newly constructed office in Delhi? Why don’t they talk about Rafale deal,” he said, while demanding that commission shall be set up to investigate who made money over the years.

He said that BJP has failed to win the hearts of people. “Prime Minister had said that Centre sanctioned Rs 80,000 crore to JK but Mehbooba Mufti told in assembly that state received only Rs 10,000 crore.”

He claimed that BJP was promising return of Kashmir Pandits to the Valley for votes. “What did BJP do for Pandits in the last five years? What happened to 10 crore jobs in 10 years,” he asked.

Apparently referring to a separatist turned mainstream, Farooq said, “Those who ate Pakistan s**t over the years have now joined hands with the BJP. One leader from Kashmir is contesting polls for the money. These people, who deceived the nation, will face punishment in this world.”

In a sarcastic tone, he said, “I am still young. I won’t die till I see the funerals of these people (senior BJP leaders.”

Party’s senior leaders Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mustafa Kamal were also present on the occasion. However, less than 300 NC supporters had turned up to participate in the rally. 


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Jaish almost wiped out, no one willing to head it: Army

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Army on Wednesday claimed the government forces have “severely targeted” the militants for the last few months and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant outfit was “almost wiped out with no one willing to take over it”.

Addressing a press conference here, GOC 15 Corps, KJS Dhillon, who was accompanied by Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh, IGP Kashmir SP Pani, and IG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan, said that 69 militants have been killed and 12 of them arrested so far this year.

“Post Pulwama incident, 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis while 13 were A+ category,” Dhillon said.

 

The GOC 15 Corps claimed that they have targeted JeM leadership.

“The situation now is so that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley,” he said.

“Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM. The operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up,” he said, while appealing the local militants to surrender.

“Recruitment of local militants has gone down. In addition, those who surrender, we will take care of their security,” he said.

Dhillon also advised civilians not to rush to the encounter sites.

Asked about the bi-weekly restrictions on civilian traffic on the Highway, he replied, “This is just a temporary measure. There are now relaxations on the civilian traffic.”

On the occasion, the DGP said 272 militants were killed in the state during 2018 and a “large number was apprehended.”

He too claimed that the local recruitment in militant outfits had declined.

“2018 was generally a successful year. There has been less ‘law and order’ problem. We brought many youth (who had joined militancy) back to their homes,” the DGP claimed.

“Elections have been conducted peacefully in the state because of a well-planned security grid. Voter turnover at 13 percent in Anantnag district is not less. People voted despite threats, no one can be forced to vote,” he said.

Asked there were reports that 11 youth had gone missing in south Kashmir during the last one month, the IGP Kashmir said, “Few had gone missing but returned. They had gone missing for other reasons, not to join militancy.”

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Held Pak militant paraded before media

‘Chota Dujana was active in Srinagar for over a year’

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Police on Wednesday presented a Pakistani militant Mohammad Waqar, alias Chota Dujana before the media, who, they claimed, was arrested from Pattan area in Baramulla on Monday.

During a press conference here, the militant was briefly allowed to respond to media.

“My name is Mohammad Waqar, resident of Miana Mohalla Punjab in Pakistan. I underwent a four-month militant training there,” he said.

 

 “I was told that Kashmiris are harassed, women are assaulted and Muslims are not allowed to offer prayers in Masjids. But I did not find any such thing here,” he replied when asked why had he picked up arms.

The militant was soon moved away.

SSP Baramulla, Abdul Wahid, said Waqar was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and had arrived in Kashmir in July 2017.

“He was operating in Srinagar for over a year now,” the officer said.

He added that the militant was travelling in a vehicle along with a Kashmiri when they were intercepted by the police near Mirgund, Pattan.

“They were chased and arrested near Chainabal Pattan,” he said.

The SSP said that as per their preliminary investigations, the militant was given shelter in old city as well as uptown areas of Srinagar.

“His plan was to resurrect militancy in Baramulla,” Wahid said.

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Malik sent to judicial custody till May 24

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New Delhi, Apr 24: A Delhi court Wednesday sent the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, arrested in connection with the alleged funding case, to judicial custody till May 24.

The Tihar jail authorities have also moved an application seeking direction to produce Malik through video conferencing due to security concerns.

The family of Yasin Malik, said on Saturday, that the JKLF chief had fallen ill and was shifted to a Delhi hospital after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his “illegal” detention.

 

Earlier this month, Malik was brought to Delhi from Jammu and was later arrested by NIA in connection with an alleged case related to the funding of militant and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He was produced in a special court which remanded him in NIA’s custody till April 22.

Malik was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail after NIA secured his production remand.  The JKLF chief was taken into preventive custody in February by the J&K police and lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.

Malik organisation JKLF was banned last month by the Centre.

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