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Desist from issuing tuglaki farmaan, PDP tells Guv admin

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Srinagar, Dec 2: As the government scrapped the earlier procedure of timber distribution in state’s higher reaches, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has termed the decision anti-people and a covert way to allow illicit extraction of timber from state’s forests.

In a statement, former minster and PDP General Secretary Abdul Haq Khan said that earlier the government had devised a mechanism in accordance to which the distribution of timber was done as per the zones in the state.

There were three main zones called A, B and C and as per the established practice, those living closer to forests used to get the timber at subsidized rates.

 

“However, as per the new order issued by the Governor administration, the zone system has been scraped and replaced with the BPL and APL Category. Further, the people living closer to forests used to get one CFT of timber at the rate of Rs 300 and now the same timber would cost the more than Rs 1400 in the same area,” Khan said.

The PDP General Secretary added that the earlier practice of timber distribution was the outcome of a well-considered decision which was also an eco-friendly one.

“Those who were living in the closer vicinity of the forests have a due right to get the timber at the subsidized rates. The procedure was also keeping a check on illicit extraction of timber. However, the new order is going to promote that,” Khan said.

He added that it is ironic that the Governor administration is taking the most thoughtless decisions without assessing the ground situation.

“Those at the helm at present in the state do not understand the importance of timber as a construction material in the state. They must bear in mind that Jammu and Kashmir is not Chattisgarh, Haryana or Karnataka. Right balance had been struck by those who introduced the system after thorough deliberations and after considering the models prevalent in the eco fragile area,” Khan said, while demanding immediate reversal of this latest “Tuglaki Farmaan.” (KNS)

 

Any change in granting PRC unacceptable: Congress

Srinagar, Dec 2: The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee has cautioned the Governor Administration against any proposed structural changes in granting PRC.

The JKPCC Spokesperson in a statement issued today has said that any changes to PRC are unacceptable to Congress Party.

It has been reported that Governor Administration is mulling to bring some change in grant of PRC, which is certainly going disappoint the society, at large, cautioning that any changes to PRC would not be in the interest of State, rather it will have serious implications on the society, Spokesperson said

This step will invent another problem in the State, which has to be avoided, in the larger interests of peace, he added

Since the State Legislative Assembly has been dissolved the Governor Administration has no mandate to interfere in the Constitutional matters of the State, Spokesperson said.


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Kashmir

No Friday prayers at Jamia, Mirwaiz put under house arrest

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Srinagar, Mar 22: The authorities put under house arrest the Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday and barred the congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in here.
Reports said that the authorities placed restrictions at several parts of Old City including Nowhatta where authorities did not allow people to offer the Friday prayers.
An official said restrictions were imposed in view of call for protests issued by the Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik.
Joint Hurriyat had called for peaceful protests after the prayers against the “custodial death” of Awantipora school teacher Rizwan Assad Pandith.
Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who addresses the faithful at the mosque every Friday was put under house arrest. He termed the disallowing of Friday prayers as “religious assault”.
“While repression, killings and arbitrary arrests continue unabated, for the 3rd time this month #JamaMasjid put under lockdown and Friday prayers disallowed. Condemn the authorities for this religious assault,” Mirwaiz wrote on Twitter. This was on the third time in this month that authorities barred the Friday prayers at the Jamia Masjid.

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IUST, KU faculty groups condemn teacher’s custodial killing

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Srinagar, Mar 22: Islamic University Faculty Association (IUFA) Friday condemned the alleged custodial killing of a teacher Rizwan Assad Pandith and has termed it outrageous and a tremendous loss to education while demanding immediate justice for him.
In a statement, the IUFA said Pandith worked as a guest faculty in the Polytechnic College, Islamic University of Science and Technology in 2018.
“He was not just a competent academician, but a thorough gentleman as well. His untimely death is a huge loss to education in South Kashmir where he was heading a school and a coaching center as well,” the statement of the Association said.
The association has demanded that the perpetrators of such crimes be brought to justice at an earliest as there is no place for such horrific crimes in civilized and responsible societies.
The Association has once again expressed dismay and concern over the delay in the dispensation of justice in the custodial killing of another teacher Shabir Ahmad Mango, a college lecturer by Army personnel on August 17, 2016. “Such gory cases of the custodial killings of teachers have caused an immense damage to the intellectual capital of the education sector in the state and we again call for justice to Mango also,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA) too has strongly condemned the killing and demanded immediate dispensation of justice. “Such treatment to the ‘nation builders’ on sustained basis does not augur well for the peace and stability in the state,” reiterated the KUTA spokesperson.
The two associations have also called for an immediate end to the continued human rights violations in Kashmir.

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MPs of 2014 have been mute spectators in Parl: Altaf Bukhari

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Srinagar, Mar 22: Terming the upcoming parliament and assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir as one of the crucial elections, former Finance Minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Friday said these elections would likely pose a serious challenge for the special status of the State and to its inclusive political culture.
Addressing a workers’ convention at his private office here, Bukhari emphasized on the state’s electorate to compare and elect their candidates on promises made versus performance basis.
The former minister observed that people of the state particularly that of the Kashmir valley, have not forgotten that they were asked for votes in lieu of a ‘mandate for a mission’.
“People have not even forgotten being promised to ‘make the parliament a forum for representing the Kashmir issue at the national level’. But what they did in the Parliament later?” Bukhari asked, adding, “Analyze their attendance and performance on internet and you will witness their dismal track record of attending and intervening in the House. They have simply been mute spectators in the Parliament and wasted the mandate of people.”
The former finance minister remarked that people need to elect their representatives after proper application of mind and wisdom. “While we need to show a united face and defeat the nefarious designs of some divisive political forces, at the same time we need to strengthen the hands of the leadership that has the courage to call a spade a spade.”
Bukhari opined that the electorate of Jammu and Kashmir especially in the valley must decide whether they want to go with the forces who berated and bartered their mandate for their petty political gains or the forces who can safeguard their interests and the special identity of the State.
He said a drastic electoral division or fragmented vote will not be in the interests of people as the same can give a hegemonic control over all state institutions, as well as the public discourse in the hands of forces who are inimical to the identity of this state.
The former minister also stressed on a need for creating a conducive and peaceful atmosphere for holding elections saying that political activities cannot fetch a desired change in an atmosphere of mass arrests, raids, civilian harassment and custodial killings.
“Although almost all the mainstream political parties have condemned the recent custodial killing of the school teacher but mere words cannot heal the wounds of that family. The probe in this incident needs to be conducted in a transparent and time bound manner so that the culprits are booked as per law,” Bukhari reiterated his demand.

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