New Delhi, Apr 26: The High Court Bar Association, Jammu has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court averring that it has not obstructed justice in the Kathua rape and murder case. In the affidavit, running over 10 pages, Jammu Bar has tried to create a wedge between the two parts of the state, Kashmir and Jammu and claimed to be the guarding the interests of Jammu region and fighting against the separatist forces.
In its affidavit, Jammu Bar stated that it was “not just a body of lawyers; it is also a body of responsible citizens whose duty it is to fight out the break-India and anti-national forces and ensure the unity and integrity of India.
Raising the issue of militant attack on an Army unit in Jammu and other issues like presence of Rohingya refugees in the region, the Jammu Bar claimed that there was a “real grave threat to our own life and national security that the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Jammu took the plunge in view of the recent attack on 10.02.2018 on Army Camp at Sunjwan Jammu. The illegal settlement of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis at strategic locations in Jammu, including Army Camps, Railway Station, Airport, bridges, on Jammu’s high hills and along the national highway and the directions of the government to Deputy Commissioners and IGP Jammu to promote demographic changes and bovine smuggling subverting the rule of law were and are the issues of state and national importance and hence, it was our duty towards the nation to take up these issues in right earnest.
The Jammu Bar also brought in the issue of migration of Kashmiri Pandits to the region, alleging that “an organized State sponsored attempts are being made from time to time to create a Kashmir like situation by ensuring the demographic change in Jammu region firstly by enacting legislation like J & K State Lands (vesting of ownership to occupants) Act, 2001, pursuant to which about 20 lacskanals of State and Forest land had been found to be illegally occupied and their cases have been processed for conferring ownership rights by virtue of having been found in illegal possession of Govt. and Forest land”.
It alleged that the members of the Jammu Bar felt “grave threat to their security, life and property in the given circumstances where the State has miserably failed to perform its constitutional duty. “In fact, by this act of omission and commission it has the effect of encouraging certain forces that are hell-bent to change the Jammu’s demography so that the people living in Jammu region are made to feel insecure and toe line of anti-national forces which are duly encouraged and patronized by foreign powers, especially Pakistan. The Association has been striving hard to defeat all the break India and anti-national forces operating in the State”.
The affidavit besides the so called separatists also came down heavily on media especially the TV channels as also ‘some sections of the society’ for having ‘hatched a conspiracy and launched a vilification campaign to injure the age old reputation of Bar Association Jammu which is known for its secular/National credentials that the office bearers of the Association have caused obstruction in filing the charge-sheet in the Court–which is factually incorrect and emphatically denied”.
It also claimed that the bandh call that the Jammu Bar had given to create hurdles in the administration of justice in Kathus rape and murder case and alleged that a “motivated and malicious campaign by some National Media Channels created an erroneous impression about the motives of the Bandh call in Jammu by projecting the legal fraternity and also the people supporting Bandh as pro rapists”.
Describing itself in the affidavit as a body fighting against the “break-India and anti-national forces”, the Association has denied claims that its President, Senior Advocate BS Salathia, and other office bearers had threatened counsel for the victim’s family, DeepikaRajawat. The affidavit states:
“…so far as the issue of causing any obstruction or extending any threat to Learned Counsel namely Smt. Deepika Singh Rajawat Advocate from appearing in the Hon’ble High Court on behalf of the victim in the alleged Rassana rape & murder case by the office bearers or any other member of the Association is concerned, it is totally false and baseless and the same is vehemently/specifically denied.”
Rajawat had made a complaint to Acting Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court Justice RamalingamSudhakar on April 9, alleging that Salathia and other office bearers of the Association had threatened her not to appear for the victim’s family in the High Court. However, the Association claims that her statements in this regard were contradictory.
“She alleged threat on 04.04.2018 whereas in media alleged threat is on 11.04.2018 (Pg-9 of Times of India news report). The statement is itself contradictory and misleading. It is further submitted that the office bearers of the Association including the President have been requesting the members of the Bar to respect and abide by the resolution of general house meeting but never obstructed from causing appearance in any case.”
The Association has also claimed its members did not obstruct the police’s attempt to submit the chargesheet in the Kathua case to the magistrate.
On April 3, the Association had passed a resolution to carry out an agitation in protest of a number of issues. They had also demanded that the Kathua rape and murder case be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). This demand, the Association claims, was done “in order to ensure that the victim gets the justice and the said demand was never to support the alleged rapists”.
Reports had surfaced that on April 11, the day the Association called for a Jammu-wide bandh, its office bearers had made attempts to prevent the police from submitting the charge sheet in the case to the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Kathua. In the affidavit filed today, the Association has vehemently denied these reports.
“Unfortunate as it is, few irresponsible National News Channels and some section of the society hatched a conspiracy and launched a vilification campaign to injure the age-old reputation of J&K High Court Bar Association Jammu which is known for its secular/National credentials that the office bearers of the Association have caused obstruction in filing the charge-sheet in the Court–which is factually incorrect and emphatically denied.”
The affidavit further states that the obstruction caused, if any, was answerable to by the District Bar Association at Kathua.
Subsequent to the submission of the charge sheet, the Association claims that it had dropped its demands for a CBI probe into the case, even though it still believes that the investigation ought to have been handled by the CBI.
“However, in order to ensure justice to the victim, the demand for CBI enquiry for Kathua Rape and Murder case was disassociated from the on-going agitation as the matter had already landed before the Court of Law and the remedy, if any, was within the competence of Court of law but still the Association believes that the justice shall be done to the victim only after a fair and impartial probe by the CBI.”
Once again criticizing the national media, the Association claims that they were unfairly projected as sympathizing with the rapists.
“…in the meanwhile a motivated and malicious campaign by some National Media Channels created an erroneous impression about the motives of the Bandh call in Jammu by projecting the legal fraternity and also the people supporting Bandh as pro rapists which is factually incorrect and misleading as such denied.”
The Association further claims that in a petition filed in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court in February, the victim’s family, represented by DeepikaRajawat, had themselves questioned the Crime Branch’s investigation into the matter.
“…the victim family also approached the Hon’ble High Court of J&K vide OWP No. 259/2018 titled Mohd. Akhter V/s State and Other through its Learned Counsel Smt. Deepika Singh Rajawat wherein the petitioner alleged that the police agency was not conducting the investigation fairly and the petitioner also alleged dissatisfaction with the Crime Branch, besides, the people of Hiranagar/Kathua were also not satisfied with the Crime Branch Investigation.”
In the Supreme Court this week, the petitioners, represented by Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, opposed the demands for a CBI probe. The apex court, while issuing a notice in the petition, had also called for protection of the lawyers appearing for the victim’s family. Further, it had directed the Bar Council of India (BCI) to prepare a report on the conduct of lawyers in Jammu and Kathua.
JKDFP hails Pak for goodwill gesture about Indian prisoners
Srinagar, May 17: Hailing Pakistan for its goodwill gesture of releasing Indian prisoners, Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) has said that the largest democracy of the world must also release Kashmiri political prisoners before EID so that they can celebrate the festival with their nears and dears.
The Freedom Party Spokesperson said in a statement that Pakistan government has exhibited maturity by its goodwill gesture and set an example to follow.
In a statement issued here, JKDFP Spokesperson praised the resolve and unflinching stance of its incarcerated chief, Shabir Shah towards the long standing Kashmir dispute, saying Shabir Shah despite his serious ailments is bravely resisting the hardships of Tihar jail.
“Shabir Shah is in his 32 year of imprisonment for advocating the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu Kashmir. The people of Kashmir have also time and again acknowledged the unmatched sacrifices of Shabir Shah,” the spokesperson said.
The Spokesperson expressed serious concern over the pathetic condition Kashmiri political prisoners are made to face in and outside the state jails especially in Tihar Jail. He said that despite being political prisoners they are denied every right guaranteed in the jail manual. Revengeful attitude of the rulers has crossed every limit of heartlessness and insensitivity.
JKDFP said that slow and humiliating judicial process has already ruined the lives of so many young Kashmiri innocents who were arrested on factious cases and are yet to be augmented with the documentary evidence of their so called crimes.
New Delhi is prolonging the imprisonment of Shabir Shah, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Peer Saifullah, Altaf Ahamad Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Raja Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal, Nayeem Ahamad Khan, Shahid-ul-Islam, Farooq Ahamad Dar, Shahid Yousaf, Syed Shakeel Ahmad, businessman Zahoor Ahamad Watali, Asia Andrabi, Fahmeedah Sofi, Naheedah Nasreen and other political prisoners languishing in Tihar jail Delhi.
JKDFP said that it is unfortunate that the Hurriyat leaders are treated like criminals in jails which have been turned into worst interrogation centres. Hailing the uncompromising courage and dedication and undented commitment with the movement, JKDFP said that our political prisoners including, Shabir Shah, Dr. Mohammad Qasim, Dr. Shafi Sharyati, Dr. Gh. Mohammad Bhat, Masarat Aalam Bhat, Muzuffar Ahmad Dar, Talib Hussain, Ghulam Qadir Bhat, Mohammad Ayoub Dar, Mohammad Ayoub Mir and others are the torch bearers of the movement.
The JKDFP Spokesperson hailed the resolve of Javaid Khan who is languishing in Tihar jail since last 24years. He said that Mirza Nisar, Latif Ahmed Waza, Ali Mohammad Bhat and Abdul Gani Ghoni are also praise worthy who are facing hardships since last 24 years in Jaipur and other jails.
JKDFP appealed United Nations Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Red cross to monitor and see the pathetic and inhuman treatment meted out to Kashmiri political prisoners and pressurize India to stop its inhuman and undemocratic attitude towards these political prisoners.
DGP visits Shopian, Pulwama, interacts with officers
Srinagar, May 17: Director General of Police (DGP), J&K Dilbag Singh visited the districts Shopian and Pulwama where he interacted with officers and personnel and also chaired security review meetings.
Director General of Police, J&K Dilbag Singh along with IGP Kashmir S.P. Pani visited twin districts of Shopian and Pulwama. The respective district SSP received the visiting officers. Guards of honour were presented to the DGP. The DGP chaired the officers meetings at both the district headquarters which were attended by the concerned district SSP along with other jurisdictional officers. After getting a briefing from the concerned district SsP regarding the working of the department in these districts, the DGP addressed the officers and also interacted with the personnel.
In his address to them the DGP complemented the police personnel for successful conduct of parliamentary elections in the state. He also praised the police and security forces for successful anti-militancy operations in these districts. He also impressed upon the officers to work with full professionalism, sincerity and in a dedicated manner for the welfare of the people while taking due care of their security. He advised the police to continue their fight against the drugs and book all those involved in this menace. The DGP while greeting the personnel distributed Ramzan gifts among them.
The meeting at Shopian was attended by SP Shopian Sandeep Choudhary, Addl. SP Shopian Arif Amin Shah and other jurisdictional officers including Dy.SSP. The meeting at Pulwama was attended by SP Pulwama Chandan Kohli, Addl. SP Pulwama Anwar-Ul-Haq and other jurisdictional officers including Dy.SSP.
Dialogue between Indo-Pak only way to resolve J&K issue: NC
Srinagar, May 17: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal on Friday asserted that result-oriented dialogue between India and Pakistan is the only way to resolve the issue of J&K.
In a statement issued from party headquarters Nawa-E-Subah, additional general secretary Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal said that the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is not a consequence of lack of development rather the issue is political in nature. “The issue has held hostage the development of the sub-continent. Our party has all along maintained that the dialogue between the two nations affords a way out,” he said.
Additional general secretary further added, “The issue of J&K has been lingering since 1947, how long shall our people suffer? No sooner we impress for a political solution of our state, we are outrightly tainted as anti-national. This has to stop. The government has to see what holds good for the greater good of the country and the sub-continent at large. The BJP led government at the centre is using Kashmir to leverage its poll prospects elsewhere in the country which is bound to have serious ramifications for the country’s unity and integrity.”
Dr Kamal said, “During its stint in power the BJP has only amplified the hate against minorities particularly Muslims. This is not the idea of India which was visualized by the founders of a modern-day India nation-state; they visualized a secular progressive country shorn of all prejudices and hate. PM Modi has not a speck of affection for the minorities. The other day when a Hindu police officer lost his life while saving a Muslim man from the mob frenzy of communalists, PM Modi didn’t come up with a word of homage and accolade for the slain police officer. This people see with their own eyes? Now it is up to people to decide if they allow such a person to continue to be in the vanguard of the new government after elections,” he said.
Dr Kamal while flaying PM Modi for creating a humanitarian crisis in Kashmir by banning civilian traffic on national highway for two days a week said, “There was a marked difference in the security scenario of the state. However, what good was accomplished in the state suffered a setback during the reign of former BJP-PDP led coalition government. People still remember how painstakingly Dr Farooq Abdullah led government made GoI under the then BJP led NDA to have parleys with militants and other sections of the society. However, what good was achieved in successive NC led government in terms of peace and rapprochement was put into a chasm by BJP and PDP.”
He further said that the state suffered substantial attacks on its special status during the stint of a former BJP-PDP coalition government. “The GST bill we have been resisting was implanted by her only. The new tax regime has affected hoteliers, taxi drivers, craftsmen, edibles, books and other marginal traders. We have cautioned her about the implementation of GST but she didn’t heed our pleas. There has been a steep increase in the price of cooking gas cylinders; poor families find it very difficult to refill the cylinders. How can PDP protect our special status, it was PDP that destroyed the financial autonomy of our state?”
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