Srinagar, Mar 22: Amid government’s claims for preserving Chinars, a college in Srinagar, has, after getting due permission from the district administration, felled over a dozen of these majestic trees standing tall in its premises for decades.
As many as 17 Chinar trees have been partially or entirely chopped off at SP College here during the last 4 days.
The college authorities say all the chinars had “decayed” after 2014 floods and needed to be cut-off.
Professor Khurshid Khan, Principal SP College told The Kashmir Monitor that post 2014 floods many Chinar trees in the college started “drying” and there was no sign of their “rejuvenation”.
“The branches of the trees started falling and it posed safety threat to the students and the people around,” he said, adding that to avoid any “unfortunate accident we approached the government for acquiring permission to uproot the Chinars”.
The Principal claimed that the vehicle of one of their faculty member was completely damaged when a branch of one of the chinars fell on it.
An order issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar reads: “After conducting on spot survey of the decayed Chinar, government on January 23, 2019 directed to uproot the only identified dry Chinar existing in the premises of the college.”
The survey was conducted by the department of floriculture which recommended uprooting 17 Chinar trees that “are completely dry” and “light pruning” of another three such trees.
Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Dr Arshid Jehangir, Environmentalist at Kashmir University, said it is legally permitted to uproot the tree only if it poses a threat.
“But if we have to uproot one Chinar, we need to plant 10 more as a compensation for our cause,” he added.
The number of Chinars has reduced drastically in the last few decades.
According to reports, the number in Kashmir in the 70s was around 40,000 but today it has been reduced to a meagre 5,000.
The majestic tree was brought to Kashmir by the Mughals. Emperor Akbar planted Chinars in the valley in 1586.
Jaish almost wiped out, no one willing to head it: Army
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.”
Held Pak militant paraded before media
‘Chota Dujana was active in Srinagar for over a year’
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.
Malik sent to judicial custody till May 24
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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