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Guv encroaching upon democratic space of JK: Mehbooba

Mudassir Kuloo





Srinagar, Dec 7: Peoples Democratic Party President, Mehbooba Mufti, on Friday claimed that Governor Satya Pal Malik was “encroaching” upon the democratic space of Jammu and Kashmir, even as she warned of agitation if divisional status was given only to Ladakh.

“When Satya Pal Malik was appointed, we expected that being a politician, he would be cautious in view of the state’s sensitiveness. But he has been taking decisions that are against the interests of the state,” Mehbooba told a press conference at her Gupkar residence.

“We don’t know whose agenda he is running in the state. He is issuing orders that are not in favour of the common man. Why is he hurriedly taking such decisions,” Mehbooba, the former chief minister of the state, said.


She was flanked by party leaders, Abdul Rehman Veeri and Rafi Ahmad Mir.

She said if Ladakh was given the divisional status, PirPanjal and Chenab Valley should also get it.

“We (all parties) have decided to go against such decisions. We will launch an agitation if Governor takes any such decision. PirPanjal and Chenab Valley should also be given then divisional status if Ladakh is giving as these two are far-flung and under developed areas. It seems Governor is not being advised properly by his team,” she said.

Calling for immediate rollback of various decision taken by Governor-led state administrative council (SAC), she said, “There are several decision regarding JK Bank being turned into a public sector undertaking, permanent resident certificates, Roshni Act, which will impact the poor people. Such decisions will have a negative impact in the state.”

Her reaction came after the SAC approved the proposal for treating the J&K Bank Limited as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).

Earlier, Governor said that his administration was not making or considering any changes in the procedures governing issuance of permanent resident certificates (PRCs) in Jammu and Kashmir, hours after former chief minister Omar Abdullah wrote a letter to the Governor over the “sensitive” issue.

Omar shot a letter to Malik following reports that “changes” were being proposed to the rules governing issuance of PRCs.

The PDP chief said she did not regret over the boycott of panchayat and urban local bodies polls.

Over reports that several other parties leaders including Muzaffar Hussain Beigh was mulling to leave the party, she said “Joining and leaving any party is an ongoing process. People leave and join parties before the polls.”



Lead Stories

Counting of votes today: Candidates wait with bated breath for results in JK

Mudassir Kuloo



Srinagar, May 22: Candidates are on the edge as the countdown for the counting of votes for the six Lok Sabha seats started in Jammu and Kashmir.

At least 104 candidates are in the fray for six-Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir for which results would be declared on Thursday.

Ahead of poll results, the candidates of political parties are getting jitters about the results.


While many of them are devoting their time in prayers, some of them are on the vacation to beat the election stress.

BJP candidate for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, Khalid Jehangir has gone to Russia after the elections. “We have been praying for Khalid’s success,” an associate of Khalid, said.

Before the elections, Khalid visited the shrine of the highly revered 14th century Muslim Saint, Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA), also known as Alamdar-e-Kashmir.

National Conference President and party’s candidate for Srinagar, Farooq Abdullah has been regularly visiting Hazratbal shrine for Friday prayers since the poll process began.

“He is very particular for Salah and has been praying for his success. For last several weeks, he has been offering Friday prayers at the Hazratbal shrine and pleading for his success,” a National Conference leader, said.

National Conference, General Secretary, Ali Mohammad Sagar, said, they were hopeful of winning all three seats of Kashmir. “We pray for party’s candidates,” he added.

PDP President and party’s candidate for south Kashmir Parliamentary constituency, Mehbooba Mufti is camping in New Delhi. The low voter turnout in south Kashmir has become a cause of concern for the PDP.

“She may return by Wednesday evening,” PDP Chief Spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir, said.

Asked whether Mehbooba would visit her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s grave like she did in 2016 when she emerged winner in by-polls of Anantnag assembly segment, he said, “She is not here. But we are hopeful of her success.”

National Conference candidate for north Kashmir Lok Sabha constituency, Mohammad Akbar Lone has been praying for his success. “I need prayers from one everyone. I will emerge winner. I visit every spiritual place,” Lone said.

National Conference’s candidate for south Kashmir retired High Court judge Justice Hasnian Masoodi said he contested the elections with “sincerity”.

“Everything is at the hands of Allah. I hope by Allah’s grace, will win the elections,” Masoodi added.

Meanwhile, all arrangements have been made for the smooth counting of votes recorded in the Electronic Voting Machines. In Srinagar, the counting would take place at SKICC Srinagar.

The Election Commission of India has set up 10 counting centres including two for Ladakh segment, three for Kashmiri migrants and one each for rest of the five Parliamentary constituencies.

At least 55 special observers have also been deployed for counting of votes. Declaration of final results in Jammu and Kashmir, like other Parliamentary seats across the country, can be slightly delayed this time due to increase in tallying VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trial) slips with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) from every Assembly segment.

There have been a total number of 75,400 Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballots of Service Voters this time.

Three-tier security at counting centres in Kashmir

Srinagar, May 22: Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Jammu and Kashmir for counting of votes tomorrow for six Lok Sabha seats.

One of the top government officials told KNS that security personnel including central reserve police forces (CRPF) and state police will be deployed tomorrow in all the counting centres for ensuring smooth and violence-free counting. “There will be a three tier security cordon in the vicinity of the counting centers. The first line of security manned by the Security forces will be located almost 100 meters from the concerned counting premises. The second line of security will be around the counting premises and the third line of security personnel will be deployed inside the counting halls. The counting centers will follow three-tier cordoning system,” the official maintained wished not to be named.

Giving details about arrangements being made for counting, official further said that 10 counting centers have been established in the state.

While there will be one counting center each for Baramulla, Anantnag, Srinagar, Jammu and Udhmapur parliamentary seats, two centers have been established for Ladakh segment, one each in Kargil and Leh.

Apart from them, three centers have also been established for counting of migrant votes at Udhampur, Jammu and New Delhi.

They said that 90 counting halls have been set up in these centers. “There will be 896 counting tables in these halls,”

Sources said that no person other than candidates, their election counting agents, public servants on election duty or persons authorized by Election Commission would be permitted to enter counting centers. Counting will be done simultaneously for all the six seats Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Anantnag, Baramullah and Ladakh.

Sources said that to avoid any untoward incidents prohibitory orders under section 144 of Cr. P.C. will be also been enforced at the counting centers.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Shalindera Kumar said, “As per the ECI guidelines, all arrangements have been made for the Counting Day,”

Sources said that the whole process will be monitored by General Observers and each of them will be accompanied by Micro observers.

The outcome of the six Lok Sabha seats is being keenly watched in J&K as it is considered as “semi-final” before the Assembly polls. (KNS)

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Lead Stories

Two Hizb militants killed in Kulgam gunfight




Srinagar, May 22: Two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were Wednesday killed in a pre-dawn encounter at Gopalpora area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

The gunfight as per police officials broke out after a cordon and Search Operation was launched in the village following credible inputs about the presence of militants there.

Police said during the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party, which was retaliated, thus leading to an encounter.


In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They identified the slain militant as Irfan Manzoor Bhat of Poniwah Kulgam and Zahid Ahmad Mantoo of Ferripora Shopian.

Police said both the slain militants were affiliated with HM.

Police said that incriminating materials including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered and all these materials have been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases, police said.

Moreover, police urged people not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any,” police said.

Army soldier killed, 7 others injured in Poonch accidental blast

Poonch, May 22:  Army on Wednesday said that a soldier was killed and seven others sustained minor injuries during training on the Line of Control in Mendhar sector of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir.

“On 22 May 2019 at 0915 hours, during a training activity on a military post in Mendhar Sector, one soldier was critically injured who later succumbed to his injuries. Two more soldiers who suffered non grevious injuries have been evacuated to the nearest Military Hospital and are stable,” said defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand.

The injured was flown in a helicopter to Northern Command’s hospital at Udhampur.

Official sources said soldiers of the Barasingha Battalion of the 12 Madras regiment were on a patrol in Dera Dibsi area along the hilly LoC when the incident occurred around 10.45am.

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Lead Stories

Police confirms rape of a three-year-old Sumbal child; likely to file charge sheet against accused

Hirra Azmat



Srinagar, May 22: Two weeks after the alleged rape of a three-year-old child shocked the valley, the district police said they would soon file a charge-sheet in the court against the accused.

“Incident involving assault on three-year-old child in Sumbal is very much true and based on facts and evidence. Bandipora police is going to file the chargesheet in the court against the arrested accused soon,” tweeted Bandipora police.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bandipora Rahul Malik confirmed that the incident of rape has happened.  “There is no doubt that the incident has happened. We are going to file a charge-sheet soon in the court of law and the court will decide accordingly”, he said


“Right now I cannot disclose the contents of the medical report as it is a matter of investigation,” he said, when asked about the FSL report.

Malik also requested the people not to pay heed to the rumours. “People are requested not to believe in rumors. Strict action will be taken against people spreading false and misleading information,” he said.

On Tuesday, district legal services authority had recommended paying a compensation of Rs one Lakh to the minor victim under the compensation scheme.

On May 08, a minor girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour after luring her to a nearby school. The incident had triggered widespread protests across Kashmir.  In one of the protests, a youth had sustained grievous injuries at Pattan and later on succumbed to his injured.

SLSA releases Rs 1 lakh compensation to minor victim

Srinagar, May 22: On the recommendations of Chairman District Legal Services Authority, Bandipora, Jammu and Kashmir State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) today released an amount of Rs 1 lakh as interim relief to the minor victim of Sumbal incident.

The amount was released under J&K Victim Compensation Scheme,2013 to the minor girl.

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