Srinagar, Aug 09: As the annual Amarnath Pilgrimage enters to its last phase, the political activities regarding government formation in the state have picked up momentum with BJP beginning series of meetings with its legislators and leaders to weigh various options for making the government.
To begin with, its National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Wednesday held a two-hour marathon meeting at Srinagar with his party’s former ministers seeking their suggestions for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir state.
Top sources said that the meeting was held at the official Church Lane residence of former Deputy Chief Minster Kavinder Gupta in Srinagar and attended by senior leaders including Sat Sharma, Sunil Sharma, Rajiv Jasrotia, Bali Bhagat and others. The sources added that BJP leaders discussed various options for formation of a new government but insisted that the new political dispensation should be without the involvement of PDP Party.
Reliable sources in BJP told that the leaders during the meeting vehemently opposed any idea of cobbling up with PDP Party again and said any formation in future should be without involving the party headed by Mehbooba Mufti. They, however, stressed that since two more years were still left for the state assembly to complete its full term the formation of new government in Jammu and Kashmir had become inevitable and unavoidable’.
Sources added that BJP leaders were of the view that the governments have been headed by the two particular families in the state in the past therefore they must look for a third option to ensure the welfare of the common people.
The State BJP leaders have also been called to Delhi in the next week to give their feedback to party high command.
Meanwhile according to Sources Ram Madhav and company later in the night drove straight to the residence of Peoples’ Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone and discussed with him at length the options for formation of a new government in Jammu and Kashmir. It is in place to mention here that five PDP MLAs have already revolted against their party president Mehbooba Mufti in and have openly proposed the replacement of Mehbooba Mufti by someone outside the Mufti family.
11 killed after vehicle plunges in deep gorge at Kishtwar
Jammu, Aug 21: Twelve people were killed in Kishtwar after a vehicle, on the way to Machail yatra pilgrimage, fell into the Chenab in the Dool area, media reports said on Tuesday.
The only survivor is a five-year-old baby who has been shifted to a hospital. Kishtwar SSP along with a team of police officers have reached the spot on Padder road.
Jammu and Kashmir DGP SP Vaid tweeted about the incident confirming the death of 12 pilgrims and survival of the child, Kashmir Observer reported.
This is the second accident in Kishtwar in two days. On Monday, five people were killed and nine others injured when a landslide struck a hilly road in this district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
The incident took place at Kulligad when huge boulders and debris suddenly came down from a hillock, trapping a mini-bus and a car plying on the Doda-Kishtwar road, Senior Superintendent of Police Rajinder Kumar Gupta said.
He said four persons were killed on the spot, while another succumbed to injuries in hospital. The dead included a woman, Gupta said, adding that nine other passengers were rescued and rushed to different hospitals. Two of the pilgrims were on their way to Machail mata temple.
Governor N.N. Vohra has expressed grief over the loss of lives in a tragic accident in which a vehicle carrying Machail Yatra pilgrims rolled down into Chenab river in Kishtwar district. Conveying his sincere sympathy to the next of kin of the deceased passengers he has wished speedy recovery to those injured in the accident. Governor has issued directions to the Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar to ensure immediate medical treatment to the injured.
Governor, who has repeatedly expressed concern over recurring road accidents, has today directed Divisional Commissioners Kashmir and Jammu to ensure that the Deputy Commissioners hold immediate meetings of the District Road Safety Committees and he shall chair a meeting this Saturday to review causes of recurring fatal accidents.
Machil Fake Encounter: Army moves court against CIC order, says Report
Srinagar, Aug 21: The Army has refused revealing details of the court martial proceedings against six of its personnel involved in the Machil fake encounter, HuffPost India reported.
One of the Machil fake encounter victims being buried in his village after his body was exhumed from a Karnah graveyard.
Akshay Deshmane reported the army is “using all available legal means to suppress the public release of documents”. It has denied sharing information citing reasons that it was an “unwarranted invasion of the privacy” of the accused, and would result in public outrage that would “prejudicially affect the security, sovereignty and integrity of India”, and affect military operations in the state.
The fake encounter played the main triggered to the 2010 unrest. Three Kashmiri youth were lured to garrison in forward areas of Karnah to work as porters. They were killed and dubbed foreign militants. A police investigation later revealed the chilling details of the case. The slain trio were exhumed and brought to Rafiabad where they were buried in their ancestral graveyards. The fake encounter led to more than 100 killings and the agitation continued for more than six months.
In 2014, a Court Martial found Colonel Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra Singh, Havaldar Davender, Lance Naik Lakhmi, Lance Naik Arun Kumar and Rifleman Abbas Hussain guilty of killing Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Shafi Lone and Riyaz Ahmad Lone.
In September 2015, the Northern Army Commander had confirmed the life sentence awarded by the Court Martial earlier, paving the way for the convicts to be handed over to jail authorities, the HuffPost India reported. In 2017, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) suspended the sentences of five of the six accused (one person was already out on bail by then).The trial has not concluded yet.
The army response came in an RTI filed by Venkatesh Nayak, coordinator of the Access to Information programme of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in January 2015. He had sought the findings of the Court Martial in relation to the conviction of six army personnel, the charge sheet filed before the Court Martial in relation to the case, and the sentence awarded to the convicted army personnel by the Court Martial, and a photocopy of proceedings of another Court of Inquiry which enquired into the killings of five persons in Pathribal in 2000.
The Army invoked exemption from disclosure under Section 8 (1)(h) of the RTI Act, 2005 to deny the information.”Disclosure of such sensitive information would result in public outrage. Hence keeping in view of public interest and security, it was decided not to implement it,” the Huffpost India quoted the response saying. “Further, to Nayak’s surprise, the Army noted they could not share information on the Pathribal case as a Court of Inquiry was never held.”
In September 2015, Nayak went in appeal to the CIC, the top adjudicating authority for the RTI. “Commission observes from the further submissions of the CPIO that there are no tenable grounds for invoking Section 8(1)(h),” the CIC bench of Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha ruled. “In the absence of any plausible justification for invoking the exemption of Section 8(1)(h), Commission finds it inappropriate on the part of the CPIO to have denied the information.” The CIC also directed the army to respond in 15 days, but it didn’t.
In February 2017, Nayak wrote to the CIC again. The CIC wrote to the army the same month, asking that its orders be followed. In May 2017, the army filed a writ petition through an ‘urgent application’ in the Delhi High Court to set aside the CIC order. In July 2017, the HC stayed the CIC order but has not given a final decision on the army petition yet.
“Disclosure of such sensitive information would result in public outrage,” the army petition quoted by the news website states. “Hence keeping in view of public interest and security, it was decided not to implement it.” Sharing this information, the petition adds, “would prejudicially affect the security, sovereignty and integrity of India, and shall further have national and international ramifications. It further might create unrest in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, affecting the law and order situation, which would in turn affect the National Security”.
Kathua case: SC asks JK govt to reply on ‘custodial torture’ of witness
New Delhi, Aug 21: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Jammu and Kashmir government to file its response on a plea alleging custodial torture of the Kathua case witness by August 27.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud fixed the matter for further hearing in August 29.
The top court was hearing a plea by Talib Hussain, a key witness in the Kathua gang rape-and-murder case, alleging custodial torture by the state police in an alleged rape case lodged against him by his sister-in-law.
The court had earlier asked the lawyer, appearing for Hussain’s cousin Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, to satisfy it on how a writ of habeas corpus (produce the body) was maintainable in the present case where the accused was in lawful police custody following an FIR being registered against him.
The counsel had referred to a Supreme Court judgment and said irrespective of the nature of detention, whether legal or illegal, such a petition could always be filed in cases of custodial torture.
Hussain is a key witness in the Kathua case, in which an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community was abducted in January and gang-raped before being killed
The petition was opposed by the lawyer, appearing for Hussain’s sister-in-law who has filed the FIR alleging rape, that there were as many as 10 FIRs against the accused and no relief should be granted without hearing the victim.
The plea seeks protection of Hussain in police custody and alleges that he had been brutally beaten up in the alleged fake rape case.
Hussain is a key witness in the Kathua case, in which an eight-year-old girl from a minority nomadic community was abducted in January and gang-raped before being killed.
The state police’s Crime Branch, which probed the case, filed the main charge sheet against seven people and a separate charge sheet against a juvenile.
The charge sheet has revealed chilling details about how the girl was allegedly kidnapped, drugged and raped inside a place of worship before being killed.
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