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Just 3 women among 100 LS candidates from JK

Half the electors in state, women find their issues completely ignored

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Apr 15: Political engagements continue to have men at the helm in Jammu and Kashmir as the female representation in the parliamentary elections in the state is only 3%.

As per the official figures, there are 37,75,227 female voters across the state, which is 48.13% of the total electors registered with the office of Chief Electoral officer, J&K, for the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

However, only three candidates of the 100 contesting for the five Lok Sabha polls in the state, are females.

 

Besides PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, there are only two female candidates, Ridwana Sanam from Anantnag, and Meenakshi from Udhampur, who are contesting the elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

With hardly any female representation, the women-specific issues are thus missing from the campaigns of the political parties and almost half of the total electors are completely ignored.

Ridhwana Sanam, independent candidate from Anantnag Parliamentary constituency attributed the inadequate representation of women in the elections to multiple reasons.

“A false notion that women make weaker candidates, the restricted engagements of Kashmiri women in public affairs, class and caste restrictions have fed into the existing patriarchal practices, reducing the women to the domestic spaces,” said Ridhwana.

Another reason for fewer female candidates, she said, was that women politicians “did not put in enough effort, to motivate more women as they prefer to maintain distance from the media.”

“There is no doubt that women shoulder more responsibilities than men. They can manage their families and also create their space in politics. The society instead of putting them down should support and encourage them to prove their mettle,” Ridhwana told The Kashmir Monitor.

“I believe in the power of sincere intentions. If people trust my intentions and give me their vote, I will ensure that justice, development and peace is delivered,” she said.

Meenakshi, who is Shiv Sena candidate, claimed that the scarce participation of women in polls should not come as a surprise.

“This is mainly due to the patriarchal structure of the state politics, unwillingness among political parties to give tickets to women, less awareness of electoral politics among women and the lack of family support,” she said.

“I am reflecting the voices of thousands of women and will ensure that the problems faced by them are highlighted and redressed,” she said.

Meenakshi, however, has an elaborate right-wing plan if she wins.

“Besides women empowerment, my focus will be to create a separate state for Jammu, removal of illegal Rohingya immigrants from the region, and ensure that compensation is given to families who lost their sons to militant attacks,” she said.

Mehbooba Mufti was not available for her comments even after attempting to reach her for the last two days.


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Jaish almost wiped out, no one willing to head it: Army

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Army on Wednesday claimed the government forces have “severely targeted” the militants for the last few months and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant outfit was “almost wiped out with no one willing to take over it”.

Addressing a press conference here, GOC 15 Corps, KJS Dhillon, who was accompanied by Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh, IGP Kashmir SP Pani, and IG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan, said that 69 militants have been killed and 12 of them arrested so far this year.

“Post Pulwama incident, 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis while 13 were A+ category,” Dhillon said.

 

The GOC 15 Corps claimed that they have targeted JeM leadership.

“The situation now is so that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley,” he said.

“Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM. The operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up,” he said, while appealing the local militants to surrender.

“Recruitment of local militants has gone down. In addition, those who surrender, we will take care of their security,” he said.

Dhillon also advised civilians not to rush to the encounter sites.

Asked about the bi-weekly restrictions on civilian traffic on the Highway, he replied, “This is just a temporary measure. There are now relaxations on the civilian traffic.”

On the occasion, the DGP said 272 militants were killed in the state during 2018 and a “large number was apprehended.”

He too claimed that the local recruitment in militant outfits had declined.

“2018 was generally a successful year. There has been less ‘law and order’ problem. We brought many youth (who had joined militancy) back to their homes,” the DGP claimed.

“Elections have been conducted peacefully in the state because of a well-planned security grid. Voter turnover at 13 percent in Anantnag district is not less. People voted despite threats, no one can be forced to vote,” he said.

Asked there were reports that 11 youth had gone missing in south Kashmir during the last one month, the IGP Kashmir said, “Few had gone missing but returned. They had gone missing for other reasons, not to join militancy.”

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Held Pak militant paraded before media

‘Chota Dujana was active in Srinagar for over a year’

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Police on Wednesday presented a Pakistani militant Mohammad Waqar, alias Chota Dujana before the media, who, they claimed, was arrested from Pattan area in Baramulla on Monday.

During a press conference here, the militant was briefly allowed to respond to media.

“My name is Mohammad Waqar, resident of Miana Mohalla Punjab in Pakistan. I underwent a four-month militant training there,” he said.

 

 “I was told that Kashmiris are harassed, women are assaulted and Muslims are not allowed to offer prayers in Masjids. But I did not find any such thing here,” he replied when asked why had he picked up arms.

The militant was soon moved away.

SSP Baramulla, Abdul Wahid, said Waqar was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and had arrived in Kashmir in July 2017.

“He was operating in Srinagar for over a year now,” the officer said.

He added that the militant was travelling in a vehicle along with a Kashmiri when they were intercepted by the police near Mirgund, Pattan.

“They were chased and arrested near Chainabal Pattan,” he said.

The SSP said that as per their preliminary investigations, the militant was given shelter in old city as well as uptown areas of Srinagar.

“His plan was to resurrect militancy in Baramulla,” Wahid said.

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Malik sent to judicial custody till May 24

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New Delhi, Apr 24: A Delhi court Wednesday sent the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, arrested in connection with the alleged funding case, to judicial custody till May 24.

The Tihar jail authorities have also moved an application seeking direction to produce Malik through video conferencing due to security concerns.

The family of Yasin Malik, said on Saturday, that the JKLF chief had fallen ill and was shifted to a Delhi hospital after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his “illegal” detention.

 

Earlier this month, Malik was brought to Delhi from Jammu and was later arrested by NIA in connection with an alleged case related to the funding of militant and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He was produced in a special court which remanded him in NIA’s custody till April 22.

Malik was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail after NIA secured his production remand.  The JKLF chief was taken into preventive custody in February by the J&K police and lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.

Malik organisation JKLF was banned last month by the Centre.

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