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Highest number of MCC violations from JK

Cases include money-for-vote, Govt officials campaigning, transfers

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Apr 8: The highest number of violations of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has been reported from Jammu and Kashmir since the code came into effect last month in view of the Lok Sabha elections.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) implemented MCC on March 11, when dates for the elections were announced. Till now 112 cases of violation of the Code across India have come before the commission.

In J&K, which recorded the highest number of such cases, the violations majorly included government employees participating in election rallies, transfers in administration, and cash-for-votes, wherein people were paid to cast their votes in favour of a particular candidate.

 

Most of these violations have been reported from Jammu where ECI noted 19 cases while the rest were reported from Kashmir.

In Bandipora district, the poll body has received a complaint about a National Conference worker giving money to the voters.

The Commission has received several complaints wherein both low and middle-rung officials were directly involved in election campaigns.

For instance, as per the official document of the violations, a complainant, Advocate Muzaffar Nabi Lone from Budgam has informed the commission that Muzaffar Ahmad, a medico at Chadoora Hospital has been actively participating in the campaigning for a particular party.

In Srinagar, the ECI received a complaint regarding transfer of the employees in Public Works department even after MCC was implemented in the state.

Complaints were also registered in the ECI against scores of government officials in Jammu after they were found campaigning for a particular party.

Subhash Chander, the Training Officer in department of handicrafts, has been accused of involvement in the political activities of a particular political party.

In Rajouri, at least three MCC violations have been reported against Ghulam Ali (Naib Tehsildar Budhal Tehsil), Mohammad Arief (VLW posted in BDO office Mahore) and Mohammad Yusuf (Naib Tehsildar Mahore) for violating the MCC.

The ECI has noted a complaint against a particular political party for non-removal of a hoarding at Kathua.

In the last one month, J&K Chief Electoral Officer, Shailendra Kumar has placed under suspension at least 37 government employees for violating MCC. 

Reports on Monday said that at least 11 employees, nine of them from education department, were suspended for violating ECI guidelines and hampering election process in frontier district of Kupwara district in north Kashmir. 

District Election Officer, Kupwara, Anshul Garg on Sunday ordered the suspension of three teachers including the district president EJAC after they were found participating in political rallies of Peoples Conference (PC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Official data shows that eight FIRs have been filed in the state against election-related violations.



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Lead Stories

UN chief could discuss Kashmir issue at UNGA: UN spokesman

Press Trust of India

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is likely to use the opportunity of discussions during the high-level UN General Assembly session that begins here next week to raise the Kashmir issue, the UN chief’s spokesperson has said.

Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric during the daily press briefing here on Thursday said that the UN chief has underscored the need for dialogue as the only way to resolve the issue and, “as part of the solution for the current crisis in Kashmir, to make sure that human rights aspects are very much dealt with, as well.”

“…On Kashmir, the Secretary General… has said previously, he remains engaged. I think he will also use the opportunity of discussions during the General Assembly to raise it,” Dujarric said, responding to a question on the situation in Kashmir.

On Wednesday, Guterres emphasised that “dialogue” between India and Pakistan is an “absolute essential element” for reaching a solution on the Kashmir issue, and said his good offices are available should both sides ask for it and called for full respect of human rights.

“Well, our capacity is related to good offices, and good offices can only be implemented when the parties accept it. And, on the other hand, it relates to advocacy, and the advocacy was expressed and will be maintained,” Guterres said during his press conference ahead of the UN General Assembly session.

Guterres was asked by a Pakistani journalist about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and what will he do to bring a solution to the Kashmir issue.

“I go on with a clear opinion that human rights must be fully respected in the territory, and I go on with the clear opinion that dialogue between India and Pakistan is an absolutely essential element for the solution of the problem,” he said.

India has always maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part and ruled out any third party mediation, including either from the UN or the US, saying it is a bilateral issue with Pakistan.

The UN Secretary General has also repeatedly asserted that his good offices are available only if both sides ask for it.

Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.

Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York on September 27. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to speak on the same day.

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Amid Kashmir tensions, India will participate at SAARC meeting in New York

Press Trust of India

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NEW DELHI: Amid heightened Indo-Pak tensions, India will participate at the SAARC foreign ministers meeting scheduled to be held on September 26 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, officials said on Thursday.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan will be present in the US next week and will hold bilateral and multilateral meetings.

Officials said India will participate in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation foreign ministers meeting that is scheduled for September 26.

The meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA could bring Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi face to face for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions.

Asked about a possible meeting with his Pakistani counterpart as well as the future of the SAARC regional grouping, Jaishankar, at a press conference earlier this week, had said, “if and when I meet Pakistani Foreign Minister, we will see at that time what happens”.

The SAARC is about regional cooperation and that refers to trade, MFN, connectivity etc.

, he had said, adding that now every member knows which country is promoting SAARC and which one is impeding it.

Last year, then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the SAARC Foreign Ministers meeting, usually held on the sidelines of the UNGA.

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Plea alleges detention of children in Kashmir, SC seeks report

Agencies

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The Supreme Court on Friday sought a report from Jammu and Kashmir High Court on the alleged detention of children in Kashmir during curbs following the scrapping of Article 370 in the state on August 5.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing child right activists Inakshi Ganguly and Shanta Sinha who have alleged detention of children in Kashmir, had on September 16 told the apex court that people in the Valley are not able to approach the high court there.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it would entertain the petition regarding alleged detention of children in Kashmir as the plea has raised “substantial issues” regarding minors. The top court directed the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to file a report before it within a week on the issue.

The Supreme Court also said it had received a report from the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court and claims that people are unable to access the court there are not supported.

“We have received the report from the chief justice (of Jammu and Kashmir High Court) which does not support your statement,” the bench also comprising justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer told the counsel appearing for the petitioners.

The Supreme Court also sought response from the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea challenging detention of five persons in Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370.

The bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Jammu and Kashmir administration, to file his response.

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