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In Srinagar, Modi says, ‘’will break backbone of militancy’

‘Surgical strike showed India’s new policy tradition’

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Feb 3: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that his government would “break the backbone of militancy” and eradicate it from the Valley.

Addressing a gathering at SKICC Srinagar after laying the foundation stone of various developmental projects, the Prime Minister said, “We will deal militancy in a befitting way. We will break the back of militancy and fight it with all our might. The militancy will be dealt strictly. We also conducted surgical strikes against militants.”

Hitting at gunmen over killings in the Valley, he said, “Those who kill dream of others are cowards but those who protect lives are real heroes.”

 

The Prime Minister also paid tributes to Nazir Ahmad Wani, who was last year killed in an encounter at Tral and was awarded Ashoka Chakra posthumously on January 26. “ Nazir including all other brave soldiers who sacrificed themselves to protect the nation and maintain peace are real heroes. Youth like him show the youth of J&K and the entire country to live for the nation,” he said.

Apparently referring to militants and separatists, the Prime Minister said, “Despite negativity and threats, people rushed to polling booths in recently panchayat and urban local bodies elections.”

Modi also spoke about former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s dreams about Jammu and Kashmir.“I must re-assure you that the dream of Vajpayeeji for J&K will be realized and we are committed to realize that dream. It is under that spirit of Kashmiriyat that displaced Kashmir Pandits will be rehabilitated by setting up transit accommodations,” he said.

Speaking in Kashmiri at the start of his speech, Modi said it was cold in Srinagar and the night temperature could drop below the freezing point. “I have come to light the fires of warmth and affection in this biting cold.”

He said that Kashmir is the land of saints and “we have to relive its glory”.

Modi who had digital interaction with college students from across the country said, “There are two realities today which make us proud. India is the fastest growing large economy in the world and, according to studies, India is also reducing poverty at the fastest pace in the world.”“Srinagar has hosted an educational interaction today that would in the past take place only in New Delhi. We have launched all landmark programmes like this from far off places in the country. There are many projects which were lingering for years have been completed,” he said.

He said that India has become the third biggest start-up country after the US and China. “When youths get top class institutions near their homes, they can excel better and realize their dreams.”

Modi congratulated the people for making Jammu and Kashmir for open defecation free since September.“J&K has also achieved nearly 100 electrification much before the deadline,” he said.

“It is the endeavour of my government that every drop of water that was wasted in the past is now used for developing the hydro power potential of the state. In healthcare sector every poor family is covered with Rs 5 lakh healthcare insurance. This includes lakhs of people in Jammu and Kashmir.”

From Srinagar, the Prime Minister digitally laid foundation of different projects and also inaugurated some development projects.

This includes the transit accommodation for migrant employees in Ganderbal district with 192 flats and in Bandipora district with 480 flats, the 400 KV double circuit Jalandhar-Amargarh electric transmission line and a business process outsourcing unit in Bandipora.

Launches several devt projects in JK

LEH/JAMMU/SRINAGAR, FEB 03: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched several development projects in Jammu and Kashmir during his day-long visit to the State. He laid foundation of prestigious AIIMS in Jammu and Srinagar.
Beginning his J&K visit from Ladakh this morning, Prime Minister laid foundation of New Terminal Building of Kushak Bakula Rinpoche Airport at Leh.
The New Terminal Building of KBR Airport Leh is coming up over 11.8 acres of land at a project cost of Rs 480 crore. It shall have 18 check-in counters, two arrival baggage carrousels, three passenger boarding bridges with parking facility for 200 cars. The new airport terminal will be upgraded to handle A320 and B737 aircrafts.
Prime Minister also dedicated to the nation 220 KV Single Circuit, Srinagar-Alusteng-Drass-Kargil-Khaltsi-Leh Transmission System to connect Ladakh with the National Grid for assured power supply. The foundation of this project was laid by the Prime Minister in August 2014. The transmission system has been completed by the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd at a cost of Rs 2361.60 crore.
Prime Minister also inaugurated 9MW Dah Hydroelectric Project in Ladakh. The project has been completed at a cost of Rs 95 crores and it will provide electricity to around half a dozen villages in the area.
Prime Minister also launched the University of Ladakh established under University of Ladakh Act 2018. It will be a Cluster University comprising Degree Colleges of Nubra, Leh, Zanskar, Kargil, Drass and Khaltsi. The University shall have administrative offices both at Leh and Kargil.
The Prime Minister also declared open several new tourist and trekking routes in Ladakh region to facilitate more tourist footfall in the area.
In addition, Protected Area Permit’s validity has been increased to 15 days in Ladakh region. Now tourists will be able to enjoy their journey in Ladakh for a longer time.
Prime Minister also addressed a gathering at the auditorium of the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies (CIBS) Leh.
Governor Satya Pal Malik, Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, Chairman Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali, Chairman/CEC, LAHDC, Leh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Chairman/CEC, LAHDC Kargil Feroz Ahmad Khan, Legislator Chering Dorjay, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, DC Leh Avny Lavasa and other senior civil, police and Army officers were present on the occasion.
Earlier on his arrival at Leh, Prime Minister was received by Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and senior officers from civil, police administration and the Army.
At Jammu, Prime Minister laid foundation of AIIMS Jammu at Vijaypur, Samba.
AIIMS Jammu is coming up at a cost of Rs 1661 crore under PMDP. Around 2000 kanals of land have been transferred to the Health and Medical Education Department at Vijaypur for the AIIMS Jammu project.
AIIMS Jammu shall have 750 bedded state of the art super-specialty hospital with a Medical College and Nursing College.
Prime Minister also laid foundation of a Bridge over River Chenab at Sajwal (Pargwal-Indri Pattian), Jourian in Jammu. The 1640 m (39 spans) double-lane bridge would provide alternate connectivity between Sajwal and Indri Pattian areas reducing the travel distance from existing 50 KMs to 3 KMs. The bridge will be completed by March 2021.
Prime Minister laid foundation of Pollution Abatement Project on Rivers Devika and Tawi. The project is being implemented under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) at an estimated cost of Rs 186.74 crore involving development and beautification of 25.29 sq kms of rivers Devika and Tawi in Udhampur district.
Prime Minister laid foundation of the Northern Regional Centre of Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) Campus Jammu coming up over 15.25 acres of land at Kerian in Jammu at an estimated cost of Rs 16.40 crore. He also inaugurated University Institute of Engineering & Technology Janglote, Kathua. He also launched entrepreneurship and career development hub at Jammu University.
Prime Minister also laid foundation of 624 MW Kiru Hydroelectric Project to be constructed over River Chenab in district Kishtwar by Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Ltd (CVPPPL). The project cost is Rs 4708.60 crore and it is to be completed in 54 months. J&K will get free power from the project as per the norms besides 1% additional free power will be provided towards Local Area Development Fund.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also exchanged, on the occasion, between J&K Power Development Department (JKPDD) and NHPC Ltd for execution of 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project on river Chenab in Drabshalla area of district Kishtwar.
On the last leg of his visit, Prime Minister laid foundation of various projects in Srinagar including AIIMS Kashmir coming up at Awantipora, Pulwama at a cost of Rs 1828 crore over 207 acres of land.
AIIMS Kashmir shall have 750 bedded state of the art super-specialty hospital with a Medical College and Nursing College.
The Prime Minister dedicated to the nation 400 KV Double Circuit Jalandhar-Samba-Rajouri-Shopian-Amargarh (Sopore) Transmission Line. The project has been completed at a cost of Rs 3000 crores and would bring additional 1000 MW of electricity to the Kashmir valley.


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Lethpora attack: UN urges India, Pak to defuse tensions

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Geneva, Feb 20: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on India and Pakistan to exercise “maximum restraint” and offered to mediate in the face of rising tensions following the attack at Lethpora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF troopers.

Guterres, through a spokesman, said that the UN is deeply concerned about the situation while offering to mediate if the two parties request it.

The head of the UN received on Wednesday the Pakistani ambassador, Maleeha Lodhi, whose government has asked the organization to intervene in the current crisis, Efe reported.

 

For now, Guterres calls on both sides to “exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps” to defuse the tension, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

The historic tensions between the two nuclear nations skyrocketed in recent days after New Delhi accused Islamabad of supporting the militant group that killed 49 CRPF troopers in a suicide bombing with a vehicle loaded with explosives on February 14, the deadliest attack in the region in 30 years.

In addition, nine people, including four army soldiers, a cop, and a civilian were killed in a gunfight again in Pulwama on February 18.

Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), said the UN was also saddened by the further loss of life reported from the gun battles in Pulwama on February 18.

“We hope escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours will not add further to the insecurity in the region” he said.

Colville said the High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, is also concerned about reports from India that some elements are using the Pulwama attack as justification for threats and potential acts of violence targeting Kashmiri and Muslim communities living in different parts of India.

“We acknowledge actions taken by the Indian authorities to tackle these incidents and we hope that the Government will continue to take steps to protect people from all forms of harm that may be directed at them on account of their ethnicity or identity,” he stressed.

Following the February 14 attack, India announced that it will take all possible diplomatic measures to isolate Pakistan from the international community.

UN asks additional escorts for military observers:

After one of its vehicles was stopped by a group of protesters in Jammu, the UN has asked the Indian government for additional escorts for its military observers in Kashmir.

“The observer group reported on February 16 that a UN vehicle in the city of Jammu was surrounded by a group of protesters who placed a Pakistan flag in front of the vehicle. The vehicle attempted to bypass the flag but was unable to do so,” Dujarric told the media on Tuesday.

He said the circumstances of the incident was “regrettable and unavoidable” and that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) had informed the governments of both countries.

“The Mission also requested India to provide additional escorts and will be conducting an investigation,” he added.
The 44-member UNMOGIP, now led by Uruguayan Major General Jose Eladio Alcain, began operations in 1949 to monitor the ceasefire in Kashmir following up a Security Council resolution the previous year.

India maintains that UNMOGIP has become redundant because under the Shimla Agreement of 1972 between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Pakistan’s then-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the Kashmir dispute is a bilateral issue with no role for third parties. (With IANS inputs)

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Govt downgrades, withdraws ‘security’ of 18 separatists, 155 others

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Jammu, Feb. 20: In a major step on Wednesday, the Government of Jammu & Kashmir downgraded and withdrew the security of 18 Hurriyat leaders in the state.

According to the spokesperson of Home Department, it was felt that providing security to these separatist leaders is “wastage of scarce state resources which could be better utilised elsewhere”.

“Among the leaders whose security has been downgraded and withdrawn are SAS Geelani, Aga Syed Mosvi, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, Yaseen Malik, Saleem Geelani, Shahid ul Islam, Zaffar Akbar Bhat, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Farooq Ahmed Kichloo, Masroor Abbas Ansari, Aga Syed Abul Hussain, Abdul Gani Shah and Mohd Musadiq Bhat,” a government handout said.

 

This is in addition the 4 persons whose security was withdrawn on Sunday.

In addition, the handout said the security of 155 political persons and activists, who did not require the security provided to them based on their threat assessment and their activities, was also withdrawn. This includes Shah Faesal, who resigned from the IAS and PDP member Waheed Parra.

“Through this, over 1000 police personnel and over 100 vehicles are freed to do regular police work,” the handout said.

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Reservation to EWS: Guv welcomes central law’s extension to JK

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Jammu, Feb 20: Governor Satya Pal Malik has welcomed the decision of the Union Cabinet regarding giving reservations in admission in educational institutions, for appointments and posts in favour of economically weaker sections of the citizens and giving benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

“The reservation to the economically weaker sections of the citizens will be in addition to existing reservation and subject to maximum of 10 percent of totals seats/posts,” a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.

It is pertinent to mention that the Constitution (Seventy Seventh Amendment) Act, 1995 provides for giving benefit of promotion in service to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the Constitution (One Hundred and Third Amendment) Act, 2019 provides for giving reservations in admission in educational institutions and for appointments and posts in favour of economically weaker sections of the citizens.

 

“Both these amendments in the Constitution of India were not applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the present form. The Union Cabinet’s approval to the extension of these amendments will enable providing of 10 % reservation in admission in educational institutions and for appointments and posts in favour of the economically weaker sections of the citizens,” the spokesperson said.

He added that the move will also give powers to the State for making provisions for reservation in the matters of promotion to any class or classes of posts in the services under the State in favour of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Governor, the spokesperson added, has described these decisions as having far reaching consequences in helping to ameliorate the lot of the weaker sections of society and in ensuring their economic progress and prosperity.

SAC to meet tomorrow

Srinagar, Feb 20: The J&K State Administrative Council (SAC) will meet under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik at Raj Bhavan Jammu on 22 February.
This is likely going to be last SAC meeting before Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for General Elections-2019 comes into force.

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