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Centre not to implement Forest Rights Act in JK

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Sep 28: It is official; Forests Rights Act will not be implemented in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for now.

Despite demands from the tribal community, Centre has not included Forests Rights Act in the laws that will be implemented in J&K when it will formally become UT on November 1.

At least 106 central laws will come into effect in J&K from November 1. However Forests Rights Act does not figure in the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.

 

Forest Right Act has been implemented across the country except J&K after Parliament passed the law in 2006. Tribal and forest dwellers have been demanding extension of the Act to J&K so that they too can enjoy “rights” on the forest land.

“There are 25 lakh tribals living in Jammu and Kashmir. We are facing discrimination as Forest Rights Act has not been extended to J&K. It is very unfortunate that Forest Rights Act is not being implemented despite Jammu and Kashmir officially becoming union territory from November 1,” said Chowdhary Anwar, chairman, Gujjar-Bakarwal Conference.

Anwar held successive state governments responsible for not implementing the Forest Rights Act in Jammu and Kashmir.

On December 18, 2006, parliament passed Forest Right Act- 2006 whereby the ST and other traditional forest dwellers were entitled to have rights on forest land and other resources.

Under this Act, forest dwellers can cultivate land to a maximum of four hectares and have rights on the minor forest produce.

In February this year, former PDP legislator, Qamar Hussain, had moved a bill to the Assembly, seeking implementation of the Forest Right Act in the state.

However, the BJP had opposed the bill. The then Forest Minister Lal Singh, who was then part of the BJP, opposed the move saying that Forest Right Act cannot be implemented without the consent of the state Legislature, because J&K enjoys special status under the Indian constitution.

Earlier Jammu and Kashmir had its own constitution given the special status of the state under Article 370. Except matters related to defence, external affairs and communications, all central legislations and laws would be implemented in Jammu and Kashmir only with the concurrence of the state legislature. 


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Lead Stories

No power can stop KPs from returning to Kashmir: Rajnath

Press Trust of India

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Mangaluru, Jan 27: No power can now stop Kashmiri Pandits from going back to Kashmir, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, forcefully defending the NDA government’s decision to reorganize Jammu and Kashmir and abrogating its special status under Article 370.

In an address at a rally, the defence minister also sent a strong message to Pakistan and said India will not let anyone live in peace if it is harmed.

“We will not touch anyone, but if someone bothers us, then we are not going to let them live in peace,” he said.

 

Referring to the exodus of a large number of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the late 1990s at the height of militancy, Singh said no power now can stop them from returning to their homes.

On the Citizenship Amendment Act, the minister said it is not a law to hurt the sentiments of any religion but to give relief to victims of religious persecution.

“Mahatma Gandhi had told Nehru to give citizenship to minorities like Hindus and Sikhs if they come to India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled that vision by bringing in the law,” Singh said.

On several non-BJP states refusing to implement the CAA, the defence minister said it it is a central law and everyone should follow it.

Accusing the Congress of misleading people on the issue, he said the party should not forget its duty towards the nation just because it is in opposition.

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More snow, rains from today

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 27: The local meteorological department has predicted yet another spell of rains and snow in Kashmir from Tuesday, even as minimum temperatures settled above the freezing point on Monday, providing some relief to the people.

In a statement, the MeT department predicted widespread moderate rains and snow on Tuesday which will dwindle to scattered places by Wednesday.

“Generally cloudy sky to widespread light to moderate rain/snow from night of 27th January. Widespread moderate rain and snow for the next two days,” read the MeT statement.

 

On Monday, Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 0.6 degrees Celsius, up from the minus 0.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday, a MET official said.

He said the night temperature in the city was above the freezing point for the first time in recent days and it was 1.6 degrees above normal for this part of the season.

In Qazigund the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir the minimum settled at a low of 0.8 degrees Celsius an increase of 1.5 degrees from the previous night’s minus 0.7 degrees Celsius.

The night temperature in Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 10.4 degrees Celsius down over seven degrees from the minus 3 degrees Celsius on Sunday and Pahalgam was the coldest recorded place in the Kashmir Valley, the official added.

The ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, registered a minimum of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, the official added.

The night temperature in Kokernag in south settled at a low of minus 0.8 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in north recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Leh in Ladakh Union Territory recorded a low of minus 18.4 degrees Celsius, he said, adding the nearby Drass registered a minimum of minus 27.8 degrees Celsius.

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Nixing Sher-e-Kashmir from awards political vendetta: NC

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 27: National Conference Monday took strong exception to axing of the name of Sheikh Abdullah from various J&K police gallantry awards, saying the measure has taken vendetta to a higher level.

During a meet of party functionaries here, the NC leaders and workers unanimously condemned the axing of ‘Sher-e-Kashmir from J&K Police gallantry awards.

“It is a calibrated effort to trim every single symbol of J&K’s political individuality. The present ruling dispensation in Delhi heaving with subjective prejudices and complexes against ideals revolving around the Indian constitution and the spirits of its accommodative federalism hasn’t ceased its witch hunt against everything recognisable with sheikh Abdullah. The axing of Sher-e-Kashmir’s name from state gallantry awards should be seen in that direction. It is yet another glaring attempt of perversion aimed to distort J&K’s history, which has long been familiarized with Sheikh Abdullah even decades after his physically leaving the world,” said party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar.

 

He said nixing Sher-e-Kashmir’s name from awards, and state holidays cannot erase him from J&K’s history.

“His persona is above petty recognitions, and awards. A conscious leader, he preached to his countrymen to overcome timidity and prejudices. He decried lack of courage as a biggest curse in achieving self-respect,” he said.

While rebuffing former deputy CM Nirmal Singh’s remarks on Sheikh Abdullah, Imran said: “We unequivocally condemn his uncouth remarks against Sheikh Sahib. Being lost into the obscurity he is hitting on the tallest political statesman and charismatic mass leader of J&K and Sub-continent to gain cheap publicity.”

Meanwhile party’s members of parliament Muhammad Akbar Lone and (Retd) Justice Hassnain Masoodi also condemned axing of Sher-e-Kashmir’s name from JK police gallantry awards, terming the move “vengeful and shocking”.

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