Hyderabad: Retired Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde Tuesday said Articles 35A and 370, giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir, are required to be scrapped as they run counter to the rights of other states. He said in 1948 when the Maharaja of Kashmir agreed to merge the state of Kashmir with India, certain assurances were given to the people by introducing Article 35A and Article 370 of the Constitution.
Though the wording of this looks like the assurance is “permanent”, in the background in which it was given and the consequential things that have happened in the nation indicate it’s not possible to continue these articles because if Kashmir is an integral part of India, it can’t have a separate status compared to other states, Hegde said. “So, in today’s context both the articles are causing a lot of problems for the country as a whole”, the former Solicitor General of India told PTI in an interview. “So, I don’t think it’s possible to continue that article”.
He said “today’s situation” requires those articles to be scrapped because certain autonomy given under that Act would run counter to the rights of other states and if Kashmir is an integral part of India, then it must have only an equal status with others. “I think 70 years have gone by…whatever was the purpose of those articles…according to me, it has served that purpose.
Therefore, now it can’t be said that Kashmir is not an integral part of India. Therefore, these two articles do not have any place in the constitution anymore”, the former Karnataka Lokayukta said. Article 370 grants special status to J&K and 35A prohibits outsiders from purchasing land and property in that state.
The BJP has in its election manifesto promised to repeal the articles if it retains power after the Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile, referring to campaigning by political parties for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Hegde, a former Advocate General of Karnataka, said “We have come to the lowest possible standards in our electioneering now”.
Hegde mentioned in particular controversial comments made by Union Minister Maneka Gandhi regarding “minorities’ votes” and Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on his BJP opponent and film actor Jaya Prada. “Politics is in the lowest ebb possible today. I think unless there is a change in the thinking and moral standard of these politicians go up, I think we are in big trouble in the days to come”, he said.
Irrespective of political parties, some of their members have gone to such a level that they don’t deserve to be in politics, he said. “And this is not the political campaign India would have expected from its leaders. It’s a very cheap and low level of campaigning, without any moral standards”, he said.
“Unfortunately, it’s not confined to only one political party. Every day standard is coming so low, it’s a very sad thing that in a country of values like India, that we have to suffer this”, Hegde said..
3 killed, 11 injured as landslide hits mini-bus in JK’s Doda
Jammu, April 24: At least three persons were killed and 11 injured when a mini-bus came under a huge boulder after a landslide hit a stretch of road in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir Wednesday, officials said.
The mini-bus was on its way to Gandoh from Thathri, when a big rock hit it at Piyakul belt in the afternoon, they said.
Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Gandoh Bhallesa, Nawaz Khanday confirmed the casualties.
Thathri Sub-Divisional Magistrate Mohd Anwar Banday said preliminary reports suggest that the mini-bus, which was crossing the muddy patch, apparently came under debris and rocks due to the landslide.
Locals and police immediately reached the spot and after rescuing the passengers, shifted the injured ones to Primary Health Centre (PHC) Kahara.
The identification of those dead or injured in the incident is not known yet.
No one ready to take over JeM leadership in Kashmir: Army
Calling it a healthy sign, the Army on Wednesday said that there has been a decline in the recruitment of local Kashmiri people in militant outfits after the recent crackdown by the forces.
Addressing a joint press conference of the state police and the Army, Director General of Police in Jammu & Kashmir Dilbag Singh said, “Recruitment of local youth continues to be low, it is a healthy sign. 272 militants were eliminated in the state during 2018 and a large number were apprehended.”
Elaborating further on the numbers, KJS Dhillon, GOC 15 Corps, said, “Total 69 militants have been killed and 12 have been apprehended this year. Post Pulwama 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis.”
Dhillon added that the operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up.
Talking about how the forces have suppressed the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the outfit behind the Pulwama attack, Dhillon said, “We have targeted Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leadership, the situation now is that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley. Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM, specially after Pulwama attack.
Baramulla youth goes missing, family seeks help
Baramulla, April 24 : Family members of 18-year-old missing youth here have urged their son to return home and appealed government to help them in tracing him. A youth identified as Adnan Ali Chanan, son of Mohammed Ali Chanan of Arampora Baramulla district is missing since April 14.
His father Mohammad Ali Channa told KNO that soon after he left home, they tried to call him several times but “his phone was switched off. “We called our relatives and his friends but could not find him,” he said, appealing his son to return home.
After failing to trace him, the family has filed a missing report in Police station Baramulla. Meanwhile, police officials told KNO that family have lodged a missing report and further investigation have been taken up to trace out the missing youth.(KNO)
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