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Congress seeks dismissal of Dy CM Kavinder on his Kathua remark

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New Delhi, May 01: The Congress on Tuesday demanded the dismissal of Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta for calling the Kathua rape and murder case a minor incident and said his remark displayed the mindset of the BJP and its leaders.
Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his silence on the issue and urged him to ensure that Gupta was sacked.
“It is an absolute blasphemous statement that has come from the deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir on the Kathua rape. Such casualness is the very reason, is the very mindset why young children and women are not safe in this country and if it comes from a person who is holding an important position in the government and administration, it is even more blasphemous and we condemn his statement,” she said.
The Congress expected the prime minister, his party and allied political outfits to take the matter up seriously, she said.
“He (Gupta) should step down or he should be sacked from his position for such an insensitive statement on a case which has rocked the nation,” she told reporters.
Dev, who is also the Mahila Congress chief, said she was shocked to see that leaders who had supported the alleged accused in the murder and rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua had been placed in the state ministry in a reshuffle on Monday.
“That shows a casual attitude, that shows the insensitive attitude and the negligent attitude of the BJP and the parties who have allied with the BJP,” she said.
The Congress also asked what message the BJP was trying to convey by promoting supporters of the Kathua accused.
She said despite the anxiety and dissatisfaction in the minds of the people which had led to a candle-lit march at India Gate and protests by various apolitical groups, the BJP had completely ignored the sentiments.
On the alleged remarks of BJP’s Ballia MLA that rape cases were increasing because of the use of mobile phones, Dev said crimes against women would rise and not fall if legislators spoke in this manner.
She said the MLA was not only “ignorant but insensitive” and it was because of such people that crimes against women were not taken up seriously.
“An impression goes among perpetrators of the crime that this is all right. This must stop,” she said.
Asked about BJP MP Satish Gautam’s statement that Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s photograph should be removed from the Aligarh Muslim University, the Congress leader alleged it was a diversionary tactic, because development, woman security and health services of children were not on the agenda of the BJP.
“This is yet another diversionary tactic to divert the minds of the people from real issues to polarise issues rather than address those that impact the common man of India,” she said.
After being sworn in as the deputy chief minister on Monday, Gupta had said the Kathua case was a “minor incident”.


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Kashmir

Forge unity, not let regionalism, other prejudices divide us: Farooq

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Srinagar, Mar 24: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah on Sunday urged the people across the state to forge unity for addressing common challenges that the state is facing saying that he desires a society free from communal strife, social injustice and inequality.
Addressing a gathering of people at Batwara, Sonwar Abdullah said that the whole cluster of human virtues like empathy, compassion, kindness, generosity, and forgiveness forms the core of Islam and that the need of the hour is to imbue our lives with these intrinsic qualities of Islam.
“We should repent and ask for forgiveness from Allah Almighty. My father Sher-e-Kashmir drew his energy from the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He withstood political shenanigans, oppression and confinements for the protection of the state’s special character and integrity. Now it is for the youth to shoulder that legacy of his, however we cannot put up a strong front against those as are inimical to the special constitutional position of our state unless we forge unanimity and not let regionalism, communalism and other prejudices divide us,” Abdullah was quoted by the spokesman as saying.
“Our state is facing a grim situation, the communal forces and their cronies in the state are contriving to destroy our special character, however it is up to us now to make clear to them how passionate we are about our integrity and special status,” he said adding, “The forthcoming elections provide us with a vital opportunity to clean the country and the state of communal filth. I am sure that people have made it a point to give a befitting reply to such forces as are hell-bent to destroy the pluralistic visage of the country.”
Party president later participated in the Fateha Khwani of late Ghulam Nabi Wani at his residence at Batwara. Party president visited the grief-stricken family of late Wani and personally extended condolences to Ex MLC Sheikh Ghulam Qadir Pardesi and YNC provincial president Ahsan Pardesi. He prayed for peace to the departed soul and strength to the grief-stricken family.

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Green Srinagar Initiative: Nearly 40 thousand tree saplings planted in first week since launch

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Srinagar, Mar 24: Nearly 40 thousand tree saplings have so far been planted in institutions and individual households under the ambitious Green Srinagar Initiative which was launched on March 15 here.
Giving details the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, said of nearly 40 thousand tree saplings of different varieties over 20 thousand saplings have been planted in 100 schools, over 12 thousand in different departments, about 1500 in different police stations, over a 1000 provided to different NGOs and about 3500 planted in individual households across Srinagar.
Dr. Shahid who is also the CEO of the Srinagar Smart City Limited which runs this initiative and oversees its implementation said the full target of planting 50 thousand tree saplings during the first phase of the project is expected to be achieved by the targeted date of first week of April.
The Green Srinagar initiative aims to make Srinagar green in the truest sense involving meaningful and smart plantation while bringing all plantation activities in the district under a single organized platform directing and managing them.
It also aims to gather and keep track of data of saplings planted in the district in order to ensure their post-plantation maintenance to get the desired results.
The project undertakes to plant 50 thousand Chinar saplings in addition to some 1.50 lac other tree saplings in schools and institutional areas and along avenues across the district during the first year. Plants exposed to public or vehicular movements are also being tree-guarded under the project.
Saplings have been made available at seven distribution centres set up at different locations one each in all seven zones of the district. Each distribution centre has been equipped with six workers and a dedicated vehicle for processing orders for saplings and undertaking plantation activities in areas falling within their respective zones.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan had flagged off a fleet of 10 dedicated green vehicles as part of the project launch on March 15.
Dr Shahid said besides the Green Srinagar mobile application the general public can call at phone numbers 7780819894, 6005830787 and 7006166039 to place their requests for plantation adding that order requests can also be emailed at greensrinagar@gmail.com.

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NC, PDP workers from Sonwar join Peoples Conference

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Srinagar, Mar 24: In a major boost to Peoples Conference in Srinagar, more than 100 prominent NC & PDP workers from Sonwar joined Peoples Conference (PC) in presence of party chairman Sajad Gani Lone at Srinagar today.
Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone while welcoming the new entrants into the caravan of change said that PC is emerging as a strong and valiant pro-Kashmir and pro-people political alternative to the traditional family parties asserting there is widespread realization that PC is the only party which can mitigate the problems of people and take the state on a path towards prosperity.
“The people of Srinagar have been pushed against the wall and are facing a reign of economic persecution. The governance deficit in the previous regimes is responsible for economic dissatisfaction and political alienation in Kashmir. There are growing rumblings of discontent with the two parties. Now people of the state are yearning for change, they want an alternative to NC & PDP to take the state towards peace & prosperity”, he added.
Those who joined the party include NC Vice Block President Basharat Nazir Bhat, PDP youth leader Umar Mushtaq Mir, Halqa President PDP Shalimar Gazanfer Husain, NC Halqa President Balham Yaqoob Abbas, PDP’s Mohd Sarwar among others.
Urging the workers to work with commitment & zeal, Sajad asked them to serve the people selflessly to usher in an era of prosperity.

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