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Civilian killings widely condemned: Separatists blame forces; mainstream says killings can’t be justified




Srinagar, Apr 01: Separatists and mainstream parties have expressed grief over the killings of civilians in the day-long protests and clashes in Shopian.
In separate operations, the Army, police, and CRPF, killed 11 militants on Sunday. The strikes were carried out as counter-insurgency operations in three different areas in South Kashmir in which three Army soldiers and two civilians were killed.
Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that as long as the government of India will continue to address Kashmir issue with aggression, Kashmiri will continue to die or be forced to pick up the arms.
“As long as Govt of India addresses the political and humanitarian problem of Kashmir militarily and through force Kashmiri will continue to die or be forced to pick up arms for resistance and the onus for this and its repercussions is completely on them.” Mirwaiz wrote on micro-blogging website Twitter.
Mirwaiz in another tweet said that “More havoc for #Kashmiris who are at the receiving end of execution and repression as the toll of civilians brutally killed has risen to 2 while 8 militants have been martyred, 100s of people injured and many hit in the eye by pellets used by Indian forces in #Shopian.”
Talking to Kashmir News Service (KNS), former Union Minister and veteran Congress leader Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz while condemning the killings said that the aggression can lead us to nowhere and things can’t hide forcefully. The government should understand that there is no other option than to hold talks.
Senior CPI(M) leader and MLA Kulgam M Y Tarigami while expressing his grief, said Killings can’t be justified. It is a condemnable act and tragic part is when unarmed youth is being killed.
“The tragic part is that the pellet guns are still being used that are responsible for blinding many people. I express my deep sorrow with the families.”
Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) on Sunday warned that if the situation was left unaddressed it can prove disastrous as nobody can control it then.
“If the Kashmir situation is not addressed properly it has every potential to go out of control of everybody,” Moulana Tari said adding if the killing spree does not end immediately the circumstances can go anybody’s beyond control.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association Srinagar in a press statement have urged International community to take serious notice of the happenings in Kashmir.
The Bar Association also requests the United Nations and the members of the Security Council including the International Criminal Court, OIC and other human rights organizations of the world, to take cognizance of the matter and besides getting those, who are responsible for the killing of innocent Kashmiris prosecuted, get the resolutions of Security Council on Kashmir implemented, without any further loss of time because the non-implementation of those resolutions is a sad reflection on the very functioning of the United Nations and the Security Council.
While expressing its solidarity with the families of those killed on Sunday said the Bar Association requests its members to abstain from court work on April 2.
“We register our protest against the innocent killings and the reign of terror let loose by the occupational forces in the State of J&K.”
While expressing shock over killings in Shopian and Islamabad, districts of South Kashmir, independent Lawmaker, and Er Rasheed said that every encounter is a set back to the efforts of restoring peace and normalcy in the state.
The spokesman quoted the Er Rasheed saying “those expecting return of normalcy by killing militants are living in fool’s paradise and are misleading entire India. The killing of every militant not only increases alienation but makes Kashmiris realize that Delhi does not want any political solution to the Kashmir dispute but seems adamant to deal the situation with iron hands.”



Dark homes, waterlogged streets: Story of Kashmir after few inches of snow

Mudassir Kuloo



Srinagar, Jan 17: The public utility services, especially power and transportation, have been badly hit by Wednesday’s snowfall exposing the authorities’ lack of preparedness.

Kashmir received light to moderate snowfall since Wednesday morning and with it, the supply of electricity, which was already patchy, became even worse.

People, even after the snowfall stopped, complained of facing abrupt power cuts.


Mohammad Altaf, a resident of south Kashmir’s Kokernag, said that electricity was yet to be restored in his area.

He termed the assurances given by the government regarding the early restoration of electricity as “baseless”.“People of this constituency have been suffering terribly due to the absence of electricity. In addition, many roads have not been cleared yet,” he said.

The residents of main town Anantnag and its adjoining Dialgam and Kadipora areas too complained of unscheduled power cuts.

The situation is almost similar in the summer capital.“For the last two days, we face abrupt power cuts. Our children are not able to prepare for the exams due to power cuts in the evening hours. They have to study under candlelight and lanterns,” said Gulzar Ahmad, a resident of Habak, an otherwise metered area.

In non-metered ones, the supply is even worse.“We face frequent power cuts. We don’t know when the power will remain on and off,” said Kaisar Ahmad, a resident of Qamarwari.

The residents of the main town Baramulla too complained of facing unscheduled and frequent power-cuts, especially since Wednesday.
Chief Engineer, Power Development Department, Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi, claimed the electricity had been “restored almost in all areas”.“Some areas face power cuts due to overloading,” he added.

Waterlogged streets were another issue that people had to deal with.“There is immense water logging in our area due to lack of drainage system,” said Ghulam Jeelani, a resident of Qamarwari.

Due to waterlogging, the city areas including Tourist Reception Centre, Jehangir Chowk, Batamaloo, and Budshah Chowk witnessed heavy traffic jams.

An official of Srinagar Municipal Corporation said that only 40 per cent Srinagar has a proper drainage system in place.
“Under AMRUT scheme, the centre will provide Rs 390 crore in the next five years for the drainage system in Srinagar and Rs 300 crore will come from the World Bank project for it,” the official added

He agreed that there were several by-lanes, which have not been cleared yet due to lack of adequate snow clearing machines.

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 Kin of 9 arrested youth protest for their release



Srinagar, Jan 17: Scores of women Thursday protested at Rajouri Kadal here demanding the immediate release of their sons and kin, who, they claimed, were being handed over to National Investigation Agency (NIA) after being detained by J&K Police last year.
Shouting slogans against the state police and the NIA, the women, most mothers of those arrested, assembled at Rajouri Kadal square in the morning and blocked the main road.

They demanded an immediate release of the nine boys, who were arrested by the police in November.

The detained persons, as per news agency GNS were identified as Tahir Ahmad Khan son of Ali Mohammad of Chandrigam, Tral, and Haris Mushtaq Khan son of Mushtaq Ahmad of Wathoora, Budgam.


The duo was arrested by the police in Srinagar on November 23.

On their disclosure, police sources said that seven more persons were arrested in subsequent days.

They included Abdul Ahad Mir son of Ghulam Mohammad of Khurhama, Kupwara and six other Srinagar residents: Asif Suhail Nadaf son of Latief Ahmad of Rainwari; Irfan Ahmad Seeru son of Mohammad Shaban of Nawa Kadal; Wahid Abbas Bhat son of Mohammad Abbas of Rajouri Kadal; Ashiq Hussain son of Bashir Ahmad of Nowhatta; Haris Rashid Langoo son of Abdul Rashid of Malik Sahib Gojwara; and Arif Majeed Khan son of Abdul Majeed of Hawal.

Quoting police sources, GNS had reported that all the arrested were “working as over-ground workers (OGWs) of militant outfits and police had also recovered two pistols along with 14 rounds, three grenades, one bara bore single barrel rifle, one ISIS flag and one cutter.”

The protesting women, however, claim their sons and kin are “innocent”.
“Police had assured he will be released soon but even after frequent visits to the police station, he has not been released yet. We read from the internet a few days ago that they will be sent to Jammu for NIA investigation,” said Sameena, whose brother is among those arrested.

Another woman, who has already lost her husband, said her son is in jail for the last around two months “without any charges”.
The police have already refuted the reports claiming the youths were being handed over to the NIA. “In this context, it is clarified that the instant case FIR No 93/2018 was registered at Police Station Kothi Bagh under the relevant sections of law. This case was subsequently taken over by NIA and all the arrested accused persons in this case are presently in Judicial Custody,” the police spokesperson said.

Alok Mittal, NIA spokesperson too denied such reports saying: “We did not receive any such cases.”
IGP Kashmir and SSP Srinagar did not respond to repeated phone calls.

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Political astuteness not economic packages needed to resolve Kashmir: Mehbooba



Srinagar, Jan 17: Former Chief Minister and President People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday reiterated that dialogue and reconciliation between India and Pakistan have become inevitable for the resolution of Kashmir issue and that the decades old conflict cannot be resolved by the announcement of the economic packages.

While addressing the party functionaries and activists from Rajpora assembly segment, Mehbooba said that the resilience of the PDP workers is worth to hail as they in spite of the harsh weather attended the meeting in large numbers and gave a clear message that the party is going to emerge victorious and more stronger in the coming time.

Hailing the impeccable courage and determination with which the PDP workers have been strengthening the party on the ground, Mehbooba said that the real asset for the PDP since its foundation in 1999 has been its ground level workers.


PDP President stated further that after the 2014 polls accorded fragmented mandate to state’s political landscape, PDP founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed decided to stitch the common ground with BJP will the sole motive to reincarnate the Vajpayee era in the state and to stop the vicious cycle of unabated killings and violence. “Even when I told my father that the decision to join hands with the BJP has more risks than rewards and would decline party’s popularity in the state, he said he was ready to sacrifice everything including his own self if that resolves the decades old conflict,”

Mehbooba said, adding that her father was confident that dialogue and reconciliation would be initiated and same measures taken during Vajpayee’s time shall be witnessed once again. “However, when on November 7, 2015 Prime Minister Modi addressed a rally in Srinagar, he announced 80 thousand crore package but exhibited reluctance in pitching for a thaw between India and Pakistan for peace in the state. This disheartened everyone including the people who had come from far flung areas to listen to the Prime Minister,” Mehbooba said.

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