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‘Darbar’ opens in Jammu: Lt Guv accorded ceremonial reception; interacts with officers, visits PHQ

Monitor News Bureau

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Jammu, Nov 4: Amid tight security arrangements, Civil Secretariat — the seat of Jammu & Kashmir government — and other offices reopened in Jammu on November 4 after functioning for six months in Srinagar as part of the nearly 150-year-old practice locally known as ‘Darbar Move’.

The bi-annual shift is the first after the State’s bifurcation into two Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh which came into existence on October 31.

G.C. Murmu, who assumed office as the first Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir on October 31 at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar, inspected the traditional guard of honour given to him by a police contingent at the Civil Secretariat lawns at 9.30 a.m., marking the opening of move offices here.

 

He was received by the Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam, Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, Administrative Secretaries and a large number of officers and employees of the Civil Secretariat.

However, Murmu skipped the customary press conference which was a usual practice by the head of the administration in the erstwhile State and instead straightway went inside the secretariat to embark on his official work.

The Secretariat and other government offices closed in Srinagar on October 25-26 after functioning there for six months. The other offices which resumed functioning here include Raj Bhavan and the Police headquarters.

Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in strength in the city, especially on the roads leading to the Civil Secretariat as part of security measures to ensure the smooth functioning of the administration from Jammu.

The main road outside the secretariat was closed for civilian movement with barricades and heavy deployment of policemen. Only the civil secretariat employees are being allowed on the road after thorough checking.

Later, Lt. Governor held a meeting with Administrative Secretaries where discussed important and urgent administrative issues.

In another meeting, Lt. Governor interacted with all the officers of the Civil Secretariat and sought their suggestions for further improving the quality and pace of work, in an open house.

 Lieutenant Governor reiterated the resolve of the government for tirelessly working towards ensuring responsive and good governance at all levels. He advised the officers to keep public welfare as a central motto while discharging their duties.

Lt. Governor also visited the Police Headquarters where he received a Guard of Honour. Dilbag Singh, DGP, and other senior Police officers interacted with the Lt. Governor and briefed him about the law and order scenario and multiple challenges before the J&K Police.

Lt. Governor praised the role of the J&K Police for maintenance of law and order and complimented the Force for peaceful conduct of elections to the Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies.

He advised the Police Officers to stay alert and deal firmly with the elements inimical to the safety and security of state and stressed stern action against people involved in economic offences. He appreciated the synergy existing between the Police, Army, Central Armed Police Forces and Civil Administration and urged working with same zeal for maintenance of peace and security in J&K.

 The practice of ‘Darbar Move’— under which the government functions in Jammu during six months of winter and in Srinagar during summer — was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape extreme weather conditions in the two regions.

However, the practice was continued even after Independence with the aim of providing governance benefits to both Kashmir and Jammu regions for six months by turns.

While Jammu and Srinagar cities benefit from this practice as the roads and other infrastructure gets the basic minimum repairs done on an annual basis, the Darbar Move incurs expenditure of crores of rupees.

The practice involves moving voluminous files between Jammu and Srinagar and thousands of employees between the two cities in hundreds of buses and trucks.

The employees who work in the move offices get almost two weeks of free holidays and compensatory allowances twice every year.

Several political parties have in the past demanded scrapping the practice and instead establishing permanent offices both at Jammu and Srinagar.


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Hizb commander among 3 militants killed in Tral

Militant recruitments have dropped considerably, says DGP

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Feb 19:  Security forces Wednesday killed three top militants including a Hizbul Mujahedeen commander in a fierce encounter at Sherabad area of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

The slain militants have been identified as Jahangir Rafiq Wani and Raja Maqbool residents of Tral, and Saddat Ahmad Thokar, a resident of Bijbhera.

Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said the slain militants were involved in civilian killings and damaging public property in south Kashmir.

 

“We have been continuing our anti-militancy operations.  Today we killed three Hizbul Mujahedeen militants in Sherabad. The slain militants included Jahangir Rafiq Wani who replaced the erstwhile HM commander Hammad Khan. Huge cache of arms and ammunition has been recovered from the site of encounter,” he said.

Singh said Jahangir along with Raja Maqbool were involved in the killing of two civilians, Mehraj ud din Zargar and Ghulam Nabi Mir, at Tral. After abrogation of Article 370, he set chemist’s shop and a truck on fire. “He was a dreaded militant who terrorized people and even set a mosque at Ameerabad on fire,” Singh added.

With the killing of these two militants, DGP said 23 militants have been killed so far in 10 “successful” anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

“In two encounters at Jammu, four militants were killed. In Kashmir, 19 militants have been killed so far. During these operations, no collateral damage took place,” he said.

The DGP said several militant modules were busted in 2020 and 40 Over Ground Workers (OGW) of militants were arrested.

“Youth joining militant ranks have dropped considerably, which is actually a good trend. Eight youth, who ran away from home to join militancy, have been reunited with their families. Right now, shops and traffic are functioning normally” he said.

On Umar Fayaz, who was injured during militant attack at Lawaypora, police chief said he has not been given a clean chit as yet.

“His condition is bad and he has been sent home for treatment. When he gets well, he will be taken into custody and interrogated,” he said.

Singh backed government’s decision to defer elections for vacant Panchayat seats in Jammu and Kashmir. “Right now operations are happening. The government’s decision must be based on solid grounds,” he said.

DGP said the launching pads of militants in Pakistan Administered Kashmir “remained full” with militants during winter season, who he said were looking for opportunity to sneak in towards India’s territory.

He these launching pads were active now and “desperately” waiting for opportunity.

“We don’t know the exact number of militants in these launching pads. These launching pads would getting empty earlier during snowfall but this winter the militants have not been withdrawn. Their activities are going on and waiting for opportunity to cross LoC,” he said.

Singh said the ceasefire violations this year so far have increased by Pakistan to push militants across the border.

He said some of their attempts of infiltration by militants have been successful.

“However, the forces there are giving befitting reply to the ceasefire violation and are also making their attempts unsuccessful. The militants who were killed in Jammu region had also infiltrated recently, which is being investigated. Pakistan wants to keep water warm on LoC,” he said.

DGP further informed that a drone from Pakistan crossed border in Kathua and returned after the BSF opened fire.”

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Tough measures against misuse of social media:DGP

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Feb 19: The Jammu and Kashmir Police said Wednesday that they will act against the misuse of social media networks, which were allegedly being used to stoke violence in the valley.

“We have evidence whereby social media was used through VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to tell militants to carry out attacks at certain places. On priority, we are targetting such misuse of social media,” DGP Dilbagh Singh told reporters here.

Singh said the Jammu and Kashmir administration had issued an order January 14 banning the use of social media but the police was only going after those who were misusing it.

 

“We are sharing information (through WhatsApp) with you which means we know that you are using it. We are keeping a vigil on the use of social media and will act against those who misuse it,” Singh said.

The DGP was responding to a question about the police spokesperson using WhatsApp to share press releases and send invitations for events including his press conference Wednesday in spite of the ban on the use of social media.

“There have been several instances of misuse. For example, the driver of the truck which was carrying militants at Nagrota sent a photograph to his handlers in Pakistan the moment his vehicle was intercepted at the naka,” Singh pointed out.

“We have to differentiate between use and misuse… when someone misuses the social media, there will be no room for leniency. You should be thankful that you are able to use it,” added the senior police official.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar dismissed reports in some sections of media that 200 persons have been booked for using VPN.

“We have registered a general FIR. The report that 200 persons have been booked is absolutely wrong,” Kumar said.

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LG calls for increasing surveillance along IB

Press Trust of India

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Jammu, Feb 19: Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu on Wednesday asked the BSF to intensify vigil along the International Border (IB) to ensure safety and security of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

This was conveyed by Murmu to L Mohanti, Inspector General of Border Security Force (headquarters Delhi), who called on the Lt Governor here at the Raj Bhavan, a statement issued said.

Murmu and Mohanti discussed wide-ranging issues related to the BSF’s operations and the current security situation in the union territory, it said. The Lt Governor lauded the role being played by the BSF in safeguarding the frontiers and advised heightened surveillance for ensuring safety and security of people.

 
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