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Juvenile Justice Mechanism needs to be strengthened in JK: CJ

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Srinagar, Oct 13: Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal Saturday called for serious efforts to strengthen the Juvenile Justice (JJ) mechanism in Jammu and Kashmir to ensure protection of children with law conflicts.
She strongly advocated for implementation of J&K Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of the Children) Act, 2013 and Rules 2014 in letter and spirit, which provide a robust mechanism for protection and safety of juveniles.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the 2-day Orientation Training Programme on Juvenile Justice System organized by the Juvenile Justice Committee of J&K High Court in collaboration with the UNICEF at SKICC here today, the Chief Justice observed that children are the major human resource of development and key agents for collective social change and they cannot be deprived of hope and dignity.
Conscious and continues efforts must be made by all stakeholders of the society to ensure wholesome development of these children so that they also lead a dignified life and contribute for the development of the society and nation, said Justice Mittal.
Maintaining that judiciary has to play a vital role in sensitizing all the stakeholders by bringing them together and in identifying workable solutions in order to trigger changes at the ground level, Justice Mittal said the orientation and training of judicial officers and professional social workers coupled with required resources will help us to achieve the objective of proper rehabilitation of children in conflict with law. She urged the participants to take advantage of the opportunity and make practical use of their experience gained from the training programme.
She extended her gratitude to the Members of Juvenile Justice Committee of J&K High Court, Judges of High Court, Resource Persons, including Justice Mukta Gupta, Judge Delhi High Court for gracing the occasion and enlightening the participants on the issues related to the Juvenile Justice system.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey (Chairman, Juvenile Justice Committee of J&K High Court), Justice Alok Aradhe, Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur, Justice Sindhu Sharma, Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi, (Chairman, Selection-cum-Oversight Committee JJ Act), Registrar General J&K High Court, Sanjay Dhar, Director J&K State Judicial Academy, Abdul Rashid Malik, Principal Secretary to Chief Justice, Jawad Ahmed, Special Secretary, DSLSA, Geetanjali Goel, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, Hilal Bhat, Mission Director, ICPS, G A Sofi, Bharti, Dr Rajesh Kumar, Resource Persons, judicial officers of subordinate courts dealing with the Juvenile Justice, Lawyers, Juvenile Police Units, activists of various NGOs, social organizations and several other stakeholders participated in the conference.
The main objective of the training programme was to deliberate and highlight the issues related to the implementation of JJ Act and to review the progress achieved on various decisions taken in the two Roundtable Conference on Juveniles held last year and this year in Srinagar.
The experts deliberated in detail about the issues related to the juveniles and stressed that approach of the executive officials and the judicial system must be aimed at addressing the vulnerabilities of the children and ensuring their rehabilitation.
They observed that idea behind rehabilitation is that people are not criminals by birth and have every right to get a chance to mend their character and reintegrated with society to lead a dignified life. All this can be possible with the collective efforts of all stakeholders of the society, said the experts.
Chairman J&K High Court Juvenile Justice Committee, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey stressed the need for the community participation for the rehabilitation of juveniles.
He said children are the greatest resource of the nation and all stakeholders have to join hands to make efforts to protect them from all evils by using all means under and outside the legal framework. The orientation programmes provide opportunities to the people associated with this noble cause to introspect and re-dedicate to save the younger generation from various forms of abuses, said Justice Magrey.
Outlining the success of the two Roundtable Conferences on the implementation of Juvenile Justice System in the State, Justice Magrey said the State of Jammu and Kashmir has taken various steps to strengthen the juvenile justice mechanism.
The measures included constitution of Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in all the 22 districts of the State, created eight posts of Principal Magistrates and the process of creating remaining 14 Principal Magistrates is at the final stage. The Juvenile Justice Committee of High Court of J&K is closely monitoring the progress of implementation of the JJ Act to ensure better set up for the juveniles.
He said the Committee is constantly maintaining high vigil on the implementation of the Act and the Rules for which regular meetings of all the stakeholders from time to time are being held to review the progress. Inspections of the Observation Homes and Children’s Homes at Jammu and Srinagar are being done to improve the conditions prevailing in these Homes like food, clothing, recreation, educating, health and psychology of these children.
Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur stressed the need for larger participation of community, NGOs, social organizations for the safety of the juveniles. He emphasized for a cautious approach by the agencies while dealing with the juveniles and every effort must be made to mould the mindset of the children to bring them on the right track. He also stressed for a close vigil by the society to prevent the children from various abuses and securing the future of the children.
Justice Thakur said Government’s role is imminent in improving facilities and rehabilitation of juveniles by way of providing infrastructure and other facilities. He expressed satisfaction on the role of the stakeholders, especially the NGOs and some Government agencies. He hoped that the training programme will go a long way in motivating the participants to rejuvenate their efforts to work in missionary spirit for the welfare of the ignored section of the society.
Justice Mukta Gupta, Judge Delhi High Court deliberated on the subject in detail and laid stress on tangible steps to further improving the juvenile system, children in conflict with law and the children in need of care and protection. She laid stress on effective mechanism to deal with the cases of juvenile with all sympathy and care so that they can be brought to the right path to lead the dignified life. She said regular counselling seminars should be held at the ground level to aware and motivate the children against various forms of abuse and anti-social activities. She said entire society has responsibility to save the younger generation from the destruction due to drugs, child abuse and other anti-social activities. The Courts have special responsibility to deal with such cases with extra cautious approach to ensure proper justice and rehabilitation of such children.
Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi and Bilal Bhat, UNICEF also addressed and shared their view points on the issues of juveniles.
Total four sessions were held on the first day of the programme. The first and second sessions of the Training Programme were chaired by Justice Mukta Gupta, Judge Delhi Court and co-chaired by Justice Alok Aradhe, Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Ms. Justice Sindhu Sharma.
The third and fourth sessions were chaired and co-chaired by Justice D.S. Thakur and Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi respectively.


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Top militant ‘commander’ Zakir Musa killed in Tral

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Srinagar, May 23:  Kashmir Valley’s most wanted militant ‘commander’, Zakir Musa, who headed the Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Gazwatul Hind (AGH), was killed on Thursday by government forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Informed sources said the forces started a cordon and search operation in Dadsara village of Tral area following information about the presence of two militants there.

“The trapped militants were persuaded to surrender. Instead they hurled grenades and started a gunfight, triggering an encounter,” a source said.

 

One of the dead was identified as Zakir Musa.

As the news about the killing of top militant, widespread protests were being witnessed in different parts of the valley in reaction to the killing.

Zakir Musa, a close associate of Burhan Wani who was killed in 2017, was a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen who succeeded Burhan and later headed the Al Qaeda affiliate. He had taken to militancy in 2013.

Zakir Rashid Bhat, his real name, was an engineering student in Chandigarh who abandoned education and joined militancy.

He was born in Noorpora village of Tral area. His father, Abdul Rashid Bhat, is a senior engineer working for the Jammu and Kashmir government.

After Burhan Wani’s death, Zakir Musa threatened to behead Kashmiri separatist leaders of the Hurriyat Conference for calling Kashmir a political dispute instead of a religious struggle to establish an Islamic state.

Authorities have suspended mobile Internet services across Kashmir valley as a precautionary measure.

Authorities have ordered closure of all schools and colleges in the Kashmir Valley on Friday.

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Hope Modi thinks positive for Kashmir: Omar

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, May 23: National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Thursday congratulated Narendra Modi for being reelected as Prime Minister of the country and hoped that Modi will soften his stand on Kashmir and start dialogue with Pakistan.

Omar appealed Modi to change his style of work in the new government and take all the people of the country along.

“Country has reelected Narendra Modi again as Prime Minister despite opposition parties having tried hard during elections to defeat BJP and NDA. We also tried hard in Kashmir and won three seats. We would have won the Ladakh seat also but Congress conspired and helped BJP win the seat,” Omar said in a presser after NC’s grand show in Kashmir.

 

Omar said that Kashmiri people have suffered a lot during the five year rule of BJP, but hoped that Modi will soften his stand and start taking measures which will help give the people of Kashmir relief.

“Jammu and Kashmir people have hopes that Modi will think positive for Kashmir and start dialogue with Pakistan and take internal measures which will give relief to people here,” he said.

“Strict policy was used against Kashmiris in the last five years. We hope the new government will ease out the strict policy. We hope the border trade is resumed,” he said.

Omar blamed the Congress for hatching a conspiracy and fielding two candidates (one of them proxy) in the Ladakh constituency which led to the vote division.

 “Had Congress not conspired, the BJP would have lost Ladakh seat. Congress by fielding two candidates betrayed the people of Kargil. And people should seek answers from the party,” he said.

Claiming that nothing is going to change under BJP’s rule in next five years, Omar said the people of J&K want that the Centre should initiate a dialogue with Pakistan.

“We saw the beginning yesterday as foreign ministers of both the countries stood with each other and talked. If steps like resuming border trade are taken, people will have a sigh of relief. I appeal BJP to lessen the hardships of people of Kashmir in its their five year long tenure,” he said.

Dismayed by the performance of the opposition in the elections, Omar said questioning Balakot air strikes and the Congress’ “chowkhidar chor hi” slogan might have cost them the polls.

“Post-Balakot opposition lost most of its steam. There are many issues we can discuss on. Whether ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ was the right slogan, whether it was right to focus on Rafale. Whether or not we presented rural distress, unemployment, economic slowdown properly. Should we have questioned Pulwama instead of Balakot. They say ‘Once the horse has bolted what’s the point of closing the stable door?’ If the horse comes in hand after 5 years, fine, else it will go ahead,” he said.

When asked whether BJP’s stand on special status of J&K helped them to get majority, Omar said, “We saw that their statements on Article 370 equally helped them. This danger should not be taken easy by us and we will have to fight with our full power to save the state’s special status,” he said.  The NC vice president said the party chose its candidates who can speak over issues confronting Kashmiris. “Akbar sahab sometimes utters something wrong but he is known for strongly taking up the issues of the people. We need such people in parliament. Masoodi sahab also has a good knowledge of Law and the judgment he passed on Article 35-A and Article 370 is still being quoted by people,” he said

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Glee and glum surround pol parties in Srinagar

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, May 23: The cheers of‘Farooq sahib Zindabad, Nara-e-takbeer Allahu Akbar’ Thursday reverberated the National Conference’s party headquarters here as Farooq Abdullah made way into the office.

He was showered with candies as workers struggled to shake hands with him, all trying their best to congratulate the 83-year-old patron for winning the Srinagar Parliamentary Elections.

The festivity was expected as Farooq recorded his fourth win in the Lok Sabha elections in his 42-year-long political career that began in 1980.

 

Thursday’s was a massive win for Farooq, who defeated PDP’s Aga Syed Mohsin by a huge margin of almost 70,000 votes.

While the male workers encircled Farooq and other party-leaders accompanying him, the female began singing Kashmiri songs praising the leader and announcing his success.

Farooq was accompanied by party vice-president Omar Abdullah, and senior leaders including Ali Sagar, Nasir Aslam Wani and Abdul Rahim Rather as they all made their way to begin the press conference announcing their win and the way forward.

Seeing their party winning all the three Lok Sabha seats from Kashmir, the workers had decorated the office and the alley leading to it with garlands and buntings carrying the party symbol.

A similar scene was witnessed at the BJP office here, whose leaders and workers went a bit too far in celebrating the party’s success across India.

While BJP had not made any mark in the Lok Sabha seats in Kashmir, its workers were ecstatic outside the party office in Jawahar Nagar here, jumping in joy, burning firecrackers (which as a matter of fact are banned in Srinagar) and offering sweets to each other.

Their ruckus bothered the passersby, who were annoyed of them blocking the road.

At PDP’s office, on the other hand, gloom permeated the air.

A handful of workers surrounded PDP leaders Khurshid Alam, Noor Mohammad and Muntazir Mohuiddin as they all were glued to the television set seeing their party’s downfall.

“It is a done deal. Farooq has won it in Srinagar and Anantnag too is out of our hands now,” one of the workers was seen telling others.

As the clock ticked and the PDP losses, especially in the Anantnag parliamentary seat became clear, the workers stood up in silence and left the place one by one.

The J&K Congress had kept their office in Srinagar closed. Its president GA Mir, who was all confident of a win in Anantnag, lost to NC’s Hasnain Masoodi with a margin of around 9800 votes.

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