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Back to Village 2.0 concludes in seven halqa panchayats in Srinagar

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Nov 28: The second phase of the Back to Village programme concluded proceedings in another seven halqa panchayats in Srinagar on Thursday taking the total number covered so far under government’s rural outreach programme to 15 out of the total 21 halqas in the district.

The two-day programme in Nowgam-A and Nowgam-B of Srinagar block, Khonmoh-C, Balhama-A and Balhama-B of Khonmoh block, and Dara-B and Theed-A of Harwan block saw considerable public response that was filled with enthusiasm and high hopes for redressal of genuine developmental grievances.

It comprised a range of programmes including gram sabhas and inspections of public facilities in each of these halqa panchayats aimed at correct understanding of developmental shortfalls among other requirements thereof.

 

It also included inspections of functioning of PRIs and new works under execution and awareness sessions about government schemes meant for people living and working in rural areas and enrolment of beneficiaries there under.

Visiting officers held on-the-spot review and redressal of issues and obtained feedback from the locals about status of developmental projects taken up under different schemes in their areas since the first phase of the flagship outreach programme. Field visits revealed a host of developmental concerns of these halqas.

In all these seven halqas the visiting officers were accompanied by officers from concerned line departments in order to ensure proper understanding and recording of grievances and concerns which will now be submitted as a compiled report to the office of the DC for their redressal.

Srinagar has a total of 21 halqa panchayats spread over four blocks including 9 in Harwan, 5 each in Khonmoh and Srinagar, and 2 in Qamarwari.

The next two-day rural outreach in the district will take place in the remaining 6 halqa panchayats on November 29-30.


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State

Ensure all eligible beneficiaries are covered under CSS: Kabra

Monitor News Bureau

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Jammu, Dec 9: Principal Secretary Home, Shaleen Kabra, today exhorted upon the officers to spread awareness regarding various centrally sponsored schemes to ensure optimum coverage of eligible persons under the ambit of these pro-people programmes.

Kabra issued these instructions while addressing a meeting convened to discuss and chalk out strategies towards achieving cent percent coverage of beneficiaries under individual centric schemes.

Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi; Commissioner Secretary, Higher Education Department, Sarita Chauhan; Director General Social Welfare, Rehana Batool; Director Planning Social Welfare, Omera Shafaq and other concerned officers were present in the meeting. All the Deputy Commissioners attended the meeting through video conferencing.

 

Principal Secretary sought details about the status of various centrally sponsored schemes being implemented in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and directed the officers to ensure that all eligible beneficiaries avail scholarships and other benefits. He emphasized the need for creating massive awareness about these schemes so that all eligible are benefited.

Other points which were discussed in the meeting included 100% pension coverage to physically challenged persons and senior citizens above 70 years of age besides implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana for pregnant women.

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State

Mubeen’s detention order revoked permanently

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Dec 9: Two days after he was released “temporarily”, the Jammu and Kashmir administration informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it had permanently revoked the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) against NRI businessman Mubeen Shah, who had been picked by authorities in Kashmir in August.

Shah was released on Saturday from the Agra Central Jail where he had been moved to on August 7 after being detained in Kashmir Valley, along with a host of political leaders, social activists and separatists following the Centre”s announcements related to Jammu and Kashmir.

The release of Shah on Saturday was “temporary” and he was asked to surrender on March 7 next year, according to an order issued by Principal Home Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

However, on Sunday, the same officer issued another order, submitted before the Supreme Court, saying that the PSA had been revoked under section 19 (1) of the Act and the fresh order superseded its order of December 6.

Under this Act, the government may at any time revoke or modify the detention order against any individual.

“In exercise of the powers conferred under section 19 (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978, the government hereby in supersession of government order…dated December 6, revokes the detention order…dated August 7, 2019…,” the order said.

A bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai allowed the withdrawal of a plea challenging the August 7 order after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the union territory, said the PSA has been permanently revoked.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by Asifa Mubeen, the wife of Mubeen Shah, seeking quashing of the August 7 order of detention along with the grounds of detention under section 8(1)(a) of the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978.

The counsel appearing for Asifa said they would like to withdraw the plea as it has become infructuous. The bench then allowed the plea to be withdrawn.

“Once the Solicitor General submitted the order of complete revocation of PSA against my client, the petition was disposed off,” Shah”s counsel Shariq J Reyaz told PTI after the hearing.

Shah is among the host of politicians, social activists and businessmen detained after August 5, when the Centre announced its decisions to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and divide the state into two union territories — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

He is possibly the first person charged under the controversial PSA to have been released by the union territory administration without any such directions from the court.

Shah figured during the US Congress hearing on South Asia human rights, focused on India”s action in Kashmir last month when Indian-American Democratic lawmaker from Washington”s 7th Congressional district Pramila Jayapal raised the issue about his detention.

“One of the individuals detained without charges is Dr Mubeen Shah, who is the uncle of my constituents in Seattle…this is former CEO of chamber of commerce. His urologist who is affiliated with Registrar General of Hospital has called for his immediate release because of serious medical issues.”

Assuring Jayapal, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G Wells replied that America had taken up the issue of Shah with the Indian government.

“Yes, we explicitly raised the case of Dr Shah and shared your concern about the grounds for detention particularly given the health condition. We have received a response that he is receiving medication,” she said.

Based out of Malaysia, where he runs his handicrafts business, Shah used to visit Kashmir once in a year. Earlier, he was president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He had come to Kashmir in May this year from Malaysia for a short duration but had to extend it due to a bereavement in his family and later due to infection for which he was undergoing treatment in a Srinagar hospital.

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State

Restore rights of Kashmiris: Chidambaram after release

Agencies

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New Delhi, Dec 5: Breathing the air of freedom after 106 days made him first think about the 75 lakh people of the Kashmir valley, former finance minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday, a day after he was released from Tihar jail.

“As I stepped out and breathed the air of freedom at 8pm last night, my first thought and prayers were for the 75 lakh people of the Kashmir valley who have been denied their basic freedoms since August 5, 2019,” the Congress leader said at a press conference, his first after the Supreme Court granted him bail in the INX media case.

Quoting late South African president Nelson Mandela, Chidambaram said “freedom is indivisible” as he called for the restoration of the rights of Kashmiris, who have been placed under severe restrictions for over four months now.

 

The famous Mandela quote from his autobiography was based on his belief that once freedom of anyone is restricted, it can start an irreversible decline that is difficult to stop.

“If we must preserve our freedom, we must fight for their freedom,” said Chidambaram in lines that again recalled Mandela’s fight for liberty of all.

The 74-year-old also expressed concern for the political leaders of Kashmir, who he said have been detained without charges. “If the government allows me, I will definitely visit Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

Almost the entire mainstream political class of Kashmir, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, with whose Peoples Democratic Party the BJP had at one time formed government in Jammu and Kashmir, are still under arrest.

The government had placed the Valley under a security lockdown as it moved to revoke the special constitutional status of the Muslim-majority region on August 5 by deploying thousands of additional troops and imposing a communication blackout.

While some restrictions have since been lifted, several still remain, including the blackout on internet services.

The government maintains these detentions and restrictions are necessary to prevent trouble makers from fanning tensions. The Congress party, along with others in the opposition, has raised the issue of the prolonged clampdown on rights during the Parliament session, but the government insists that this situation is normal.

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