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Jan 26 function: Female participants did best to protect their identities

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 26: Caught between a rock and a hard place, most female participants at SK Stadium here on Friday appeared wary of revealing their faces.
The participants, dancing on Kashmiri folk songs in the January 26 function, tried their best to cover their faces with headscarves or lowered their heads, especially when photographed.
Away from its traditional venue, the event was held in the Cricket Stadium, which is more open than Bakshi Stadium.
The participants were from various government-run schools and colleges, who on the directions of the government had participated in the event.
Their apprehension was expected, given that militants had recently threatened a school principal in south Kashmir against sending his students to any January-26 event.
In the video, the militant had threatened to set students’ houses on fire if they participated in any event.
Apart from the threats, sources said, the female participants feared retribution on social media, knowing their photos would be shared on it.
They said that many among them had sought permission from their institute heads for not revealing their identity to the media and spectators either.
“Under current circumstances when the militants have already threatened a principal for dire consequences many are fearful that they may face similar problems,” sources said.
They said that many schools have not even participated in the event in various districts.
“Earlier such events would be held at towns and villages where locals students would participate in the function held be administration or army. But now since last many years students don’t participate in much number,” they said.
The government earlier this week also locked three private schools and warned two others in Anantnag district of de-recognition for their refusal to participate in upcoming January 26 function, due to volatile situation in south Kashmir.


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Reorganization of JK: Legislative Council abolished after 62 years

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Oct 17:  Curtains came down on 62-year-old Legislative Council after Jammu and Kashmir government issued formal orders for its abolition and asked 116-member staff to report to General Administration Department.

The order was issued on Wednesday night, less than a fortnight before the state is divided into two union territories –Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.

 

Jammu and Kashmir will be a union territory with Legislative Assembly. Ladakh will be a union territory without legislature.

According to the order, the 116-member staff of the council has been asked to report to the General Administration Department (GAD) by October 22.

The Centre had on August 5 abrogated the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

In his order, Secretary of GAD Farooq Ahmad Lone directed transfer of all vehicles purchased from time to time to the director state motor garages and handing over of the building of the council along with furniture and electronic gadgets to the director estates.

The 36-member state council was established in 1957 after an act was passed by the Parliament. The council functioned was an upper house for the 87-member state assembly.

“Consequent to the abolition of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council in terms of Section 57 of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019, it is ordered that all the staff of the state legislative council shall report to the GAD by October 22,” the order said.

All records pertaining to the Council Secretariat including related legislative business shall be transferred to the Department of Law, Justice Parliamentary Affairs by the secretary, the order added.

Earlier in February this year, the State Administrative Council (SAC) under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved taking up the matter with the Election Commission of India (ECI) regarding the proposal for holding of elections to vacant seats in the J&K Legislative Council.

Explaining importance of the Legislative Council, former Congress MLC GN Monga said the members would discuss important issues in the Legislative Council.

“Like Raj Sabha, Jammu and Kashmir had the Upper House which was called Legislative Council. This House would pass important bills, discuss yearly budget then pass it. Its members would raise public issue and were trying to resolve them,” said Monga.

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Centre kicks off process to attract private investment in JK

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Oct 17: Centre has formally kicked off the process to attract the private investment in Jammu and Kashmir.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the details of government’s policy to attract more investments in Jammu and Kashmir would be available very soon.

 “We have started working in terms of making sure that the full potential of Jammu and Kashmir from various different aspects (is achieved)”, she said.

 

Sitharaman made the comments while responding to a question during an interactive session with investors at the IMF headquarters. The event was organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and US India Strategic and Partnership Forum.

The minister listed out the investment possibilities Jammu and Kashmir carries in different sectors like tourism, fine arts, handicrafts, wood work, carpets, silk, production of saffron and apple.

“I think sooner the details of it (new policy) will be available,” she said.

On August 5, Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

In his address to the nation after revoking the special status, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said state companies as well as private companies will be encouraged to create jobs for the local youth in the region.

“So very many things are all being put together to see how best a plan can be done, “Sitharaman said.

Sooner, some kind of pattern would be worked out between the union home ministry and finance ministry and announced.

Work is on, she said, while responding to a question from a Dubai-based investor who is trying to mobilise funds to invest in Jammu and Kashmir.

“I want to know from your perspective, after the change in this state, is there any special consideration being given to a State that has historically missed out on global and international investments?” she was asked.

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History will take note of those who ridiculed abrogation of Art 370: PM

Press Trust of India

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Beed, Oct 17: Hitting out at Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said history will have a mention of those who ridiculed the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

“History will take note of every person who ridiculed the abrogation of Article 370. We removed Article 370 for the country, and not for politics. Whenever Article 370 is discussed in the future, every person who’s made fun of the decision, who has stood against and challenged it, would be discussed,” Modi said while addressing an election rally at Parli in Maharashtra’s Beed district.

 Prime Minister was addressing first of his three rallies in the state that goes to polls in October 21. His other two rallies are in Satara and Pune later in the day. Pankaja Munde, minister in state cabinet and daughter of late party leader Gopinath Munde, is locked in a tough fight from Parli against her cousin Dhananjay, who is contesting on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket.

 

 “A Congress leader had said this decision will destroy the country.  Three months have passed, has the country been destroyed? Another Congress leader said that we’ve lost Kashmir by abrogating Article 370, have we lost Kashmir? If you want to go to Kashmir let me know, I’ll make arrangements,” he said.

Urging voters to punish the Congress for it ‘misdoings’, he said: “The country can see through their scams and their fake remarks now. The country will punish them for their misdoings when the time comes, but Maharashtra has got the first opportunity to do it.”

Pitching for the re-election of the Sena-BJP combine in the state, Prime Minister said: “Today, if the whole state is behind the BJP-Shiv Sena government, it is because of the hard work we have put in in the last five years. On one side, there is the work-ethic of the current government, and on the other is the selfishness of the Congress-NCP leaders.”

Rajnath accuses Congress of internationalising Kashmir issue

Press Trust of India

Bawani Khera, Oct 17: Lambasting Congress, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday accused the party of internationalising the Kashmir issue.

Addressing a poll rally, Rajnath said Kashmir is an internal matter.

Defence minister said a Congress leader recently met Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in London and held a discussion on the issue of alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.       

“I want to ask Congress leaders where human rights violations are taking place. Human rights violations were taking place when terrorist activities were occurring (in Kashmir). Why did not you speak at that time?” he asked the Congress.       

“I want a reply from the Congress. Kashmir is our internal matter. Will there be a discussion on it in other countries… Will you be discussing Kashmir matter in other countries?” Rajnath asked.

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