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‘Cow vigilantes’ kill man in Bhaderwah

Killing triggers violent protests, 7 detained, curfew imposed






JAMMU, May 16: A man was killed and another wounded with minor injuries, when some unidentified persons fired on them late night in a village of Bhaderwah tehsil in Doda district.

Nayeem Ahmed Shah (50) resident of Qilla Mohalla in Bhaderwah accompanied by Yasir Hussain and another person had gone to village Basti. The incident happened, when they were returning back to Qilla Mohalla from Basti village with their horses, according to Yasir, an eyewitness, who claimed to have survived the deadly attack. He was speaking with the local media in Bhaderwah.

“We were stopped by a group of around eight men, and they were hurling abuses at us. They were cow vigilantes. Before we could even understand anything, one of them fired at Nayeem Shah, killing him on spot,” said Yasir.


Yasir along with the other friend fled for safety and at a distance, they noticed Nayeem was not with them. “We both went back to the spot, that is at the Nalthi village bridge and were stunned to find him lying dead there,” he said. He was shot in the forehead.

Nayeem was lying in the pool of blood, Yasir who was also wounded in the firing said. Yasir and his friend dragged Nayeem’s body to a safer place, and then informed their family members about the incident, sources said.

As soon as people came to know about the killing, massive protests broke out in several places of Bhaderwah town like the historic Seri Bazaar, Tekiya Chowk, and Pasri Bus Stand.

The protesters pelted stones at the vehicles, and on some business establishments, compelling the authorities to snap internet services as well as impose curfew restrictions.

Sensing trouble, police swung into action, and detained seven persons suspected to be involved in the killing of Nayeem. One is still at large.

A It was learnt by The Citizen that single barrel gun (country made) was used in killing the middle aged man by the ‘cow vigilantes’, though still not confirmed by the police department.

Family members and relatives of the deceased came to know about the detention of seven suspected persons, they rushed towards the police station Bhaderwah.

At this place, they started holding demonstrations demanding that the accused be handed over to them. Within no time, the demonstration turned violent and they allegedly attacked the police station Bhaderwah in a fit of anger, while the police tried to disperse them with a baton charge and tear gas shells.

The Army has been called in to help the police and paramilitary forces to restore peace in Bhaderwah town.

People have alleged that a similar incident happened two months back at Nalthi at the same place where Nayeem was shot dead. A person namely Fareed Ahmed of Qilla Mohallah was caught and badly assaulted by the same group of eight and the police allegedly took no action, according to the locals.

Anjuman-e-Islamia, Bhadarwah, president, Pervaiz Ahmed Sheikh, has termed the killing as ‘cold blooded’ murder, and demanded arrest of all the accused persons.

Till the filing of this report, the situation in Bhaderwah was tense but under control.

Meanwhile, the Internet has been suspended in the entire district. “One person with the name of Nayeem was coming from Chatergala side. When he reached a spot near Nalti area, he was killed and another person received splinter injuries (in firing),” Jammu Zone IGP MK Sinha told PTI.

“The situation is tense but under control. Curfew has been imposed in the town,” the IGP said.

Police had detained seven people, they said.

Internet services have been blocked in the district.

Azad, Omar condemn killing

Srinagar, May 16: Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and General Secretary AICC, Ghulam Nabi Azad has expressed his grief over the killing of a youth in Bhadarwah.

“Those responsible for this gruesome murder must be brought to book immediately and punished as per the law of the land. At the same time I appeal to all to maintain peace, mutual trust and tranquility. Some miscreants will always try to spoil the peaceful atmosphere and communal harmony of the town in particular and the district in general. It is the responsibility of each one of usto ensure peace and maintain communal harmony at every cost,” said Azad in a statement issued.

Earlier Azad spoke to Deputy Commissioner of the District and asked for initiating magisterial inquiry.

 Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Thursday condemned killing of young Nayeem by cow vigilantes in Bhadarwah last night, saying that the frequency and severity of cow vigilante violence has been a dreadful hallmark of Modi led central government.

While expressing sympathies with the grieved family, Omar said, “I urge the incumbent administration to initiate a time bound inquiry into the incident and bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book. Mean time I also urge the people to maintain traditional camaraderie and brotherhood. In this hour of grief, I pray for strength to the bereaved to bear the loss,” he said.

Party vice president said that the self-anointed vigilantes knowing that there is no one to reprimand them are rampantly indulging in such gruesome acts. “The utter laid back attitude of the incumbent central and state government gives an impression that there is a tacit alliance between the two,” he said.

“The incident of Bhadarwah cannot be singled out; yesterday a Muslim in Assam was coerced to eat pork. Had the incumbent central government properly reined in these elements, such incidents would not have been recurring time and again,” he said.


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LS Polls 2019:Exit polls predict comfortable win for Modi-led NDA




New Delhi, May 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alliance government is likely to return to power after a mammoth general election that ended on Sunday, exit polls showed.

NDTV’s poll of polls said the NDA would get 302 seats, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) 127 seats and other parties (Others) 114 seats.

The Republic TV exit poll gave the NDA 305 seats, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) 124 and others 120. Times Now exit poll gave the BJP alliance 306 seats, the UPA 132 seats and Others 104.


News Nation gave the NDA between 282 to 290 seats, the UPA between 118 and 126 seats and Others 130 to 138 seats. Sudarshan News gave the NDA 313 seats, UPA 121 seats and Others 109+.

Analysts see the election as a referendum on Modi’s five-year rule. He has adopted a nationalist pitch in trying to win votes by projecting a tough stance against Pakistan, especially after a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 paramilitary soldiers in Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir.

He has also spoken about a Rs 75,000-crore income support scheme for farmers, toilets built as part of the national cleanliness campaign Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, rural electrification scheme Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and cooking gas scheme for the poor Ujjwala Yojana.

The Congress and other Opposition parties are challenging the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government over unemployment and farmers’ distress aggravated by low crop prices. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has also accused Modi of corruption in the purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France.

Voter turnout in the first six rounds was approximately 66 per cent, according to the Election Commission, compared with 66.40 per cent in the nine-phase Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

Voting has largely been peaceful but for sporadic violence in West Bengal, where the BJP is trying to wrest seats from Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee’s All India Trinamool Congress.

In a drastic and unprecedented action, the Election Commission curtailed campaigning by a day in West Bengal on Thursday, after days of clashes in the final stretch of the election.

Pre-election poll surveys by the media indicate that no party is likely to win anything close to a majority in the 543-seat Parliament. The BJP, which won a majority of 282 seats in 2014, may need some regional parties as allies to stay in power.

The BJP will need to do well in Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats, the most in a state. The party had won 71 of them in 2014, but this time it has been challenged by a coalition between the Bahujan Samajwadi Party, the Samajwadi Party, and the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

The voting on Sunday covers 59 seats in eight states and Union Territories. It also includes Modi’s constituency of Varanasi, where he had won in 2014.

Votes cast in the seven phases of elections will be counted on May 23.

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New dispensation in Delhi has to address Kashmir issue: Mirwaiz




Srinagar, May 19: Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday said that Hurriyat leadership was ready to support talks between India and Pakistan provided India accepted Kashmir as a dispute.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Hurriyat Conference here, he said, “We are not against either the people of India or development. If India and Pakistan initiate a dialogue, we are ready to support it, but India must first accept the basic reality that there can be no military solution to the Kashmir dispute”.

He said the Hurriyat Conference was against India’s policies which were presently being implemented in Kashmir.


“It is unfortunate that New Delhi has choked all means of peaceful protest in the Valley. Even pro-freedom leaders are not allowed to meet the people. How can ideas come up if all spaces are choked,” he asked.

Mirwaiz further said that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had realised that the only possible solution to the Kashmir dispute could be found through a dialogue process.

He also demanded that the Indian government should withdraw the bans imposed on different organisations in Kashmir.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, termed the present prevailing situation in Kashmir as sensitive and painful stating that there is no letup in the policies of repression and intimidations as killings, harassment and CASOs continue unabated even in this holy month of Ramadhan.

He said there were apprehensions whether the authorities would allow the seminar as last year, the then government had barred it and caged entire Hurriyat leadership. Mirwaiz said that the repressive measures are being taken to suppress the genuine voices of people of Kashmir.

Mirwaiz said that he was feeling the pain whenever any youth is martyred in government forces action or in encounters stating that that it was beyond doubt that the gun-wielding local boys were the products of the ongoing oppression and they are getting consumed in the ongoing unresolved conflict. He said emotions and repressions is driving the educated youth of Kashmir towards armed means of resistance as every scope for raising voices peacefully stand chocked.

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Touted as game-changer, ambitious e-governance SWAN project yet to take off even after 13 years

Mudassir Kuloo



Srinagar, May 19: Thirteen years on, the ambitious State Wide Area Network (SWAN) project is yet to see the light of the day in Jammu and Kashmir.

The 2005 Government of India project was aimed to synchronize all official departments of a given state through a dedicated internet connection in a closed used group. Thirteen years after the approval, the project is yet to be completed.

The government has now appointed a four member committee to conduct a thorough probe into the irregularities and lack of progress in implementation of SWAN project. Headed by Principal Secretary Transport Department, the four member committee includes Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce Department, and Secretary Higher Education. The fact finding panel have been asked to submit the report by June 6.  


Project Manager, Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency, Irfan Ahmad and Public Information Officer, Imran-ul-Sofi pleaded ignorance about the status of the project. Instead of divulging details, both officers asked to contact Financial Commissioner, Information Technology, Suresh Kumar.

Kumar however could not be contacted for the comments. Additional Secretary Information Technology Vaibhav Kohli passed the buck to project managers. “You ask project managers about the same,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency (JaKeGA) functions under the Information Technology. As per the details available on its website, the SWAN project is a major core infrastructure project under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).

The project, if implemented, was expected to provide connectivity to the two state headquarters (SHQ), 20 District Headquarters (DHQ), and 152 block headquarters (BHQ) with a minimum internet speed of 2 megabytes per second.

Further, the network would have connected all state and designated government offices located within a 15 kms radius of the SHQ, all state and other designated offices located within 10 kms of each DHQ), and all state and other designated offices located within five kms of each BHQ.

In 2009, the then government had prepared a Draft Proposal Report (DPR) for Rs 106.57 crores for implementing SWAN in the state and forwarded the same to Ministry of Information Technology Government of India.  The tenders were floated four different times until March 2014 but all of them were cancelled since bids received for creating SWAN were apparently high.

SWAN would have substantially reduced the overall time taken in completing administrative tasks by providing converged communications services (voice, data and video) accessible to all government departments. “It would have reduced unnecessary movement of vehicles, employees and documents”, said an official.

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