Srinagar, Feb 11: The town of Kargil and adjoining areas observed a shutdown on Monday to protest against the decision of the Jammu and Kashmir government to set up the permanent headquarters of the newly-created Ladakh division in Leh.
“Shops and business establishments are closed, while roads are deserted due to the shutdown called by local leaders in Kargil,” officials said.
Cutting across party lines, residents of Kargil marched in thousands on Sunday against the administration’s decision to permanently post the divisional commissioner and Inspector General of Police(IGP) offices for the newly created Ladakh division in Leh town.
The people of Kargil are demanding that divisional commissioner and IGP offices function on rotational basis—in Kargil during summers and in Leh during winters.
The elected leaders of Kargil in panchayats, municipal committees and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (Kargil) have threatened to resign en masse if the government does not modify its order.
The government decision to create Ladakh division has led to resentment from other regions of the state like Pir Panjal and the Chenab valley, where leaders have threatened to launch an agitation if similar administrative units for their regions were not created.
The National Conference has already made it an election issue, with its leader Omar Abdullah promising to create new divisions for Pir Panjal and Chenab valley if his party is voted to power in the assembly elections likely to be held later this year.
Committee of secretaries formed to ensure justice for Kargil: Guv
Press Trust of India
Jammu, Feb 11: Amid ongoing protests by people of Kargil over their demand for rotational divisional headquarters, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has said a committee of secretaries has been formed to ensure justice for the district.
Hundreds of Kargil residents, including women and children, took out a rally in the winter capital Jammu Monday and chanted slogans in support of their demand for equal share in the recently created separate division for Ladakh and rotational divisional headquarters.
“The divisional status for Ladakh was a long-standing demand (of the people of the region). We have formed a committee of secretaries which will look into the issue so that Kargil gets justice,” the Governor told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Katra township of Reasi district.
In a major decision on February 8, the Jammu and Kashmir administration sanctioned creation of a separate administrative and revenue division for Ladakh, with its headquarters at Leh.
Cutting across party lines, prominent politicians from Kargil affiliated with the National Conference, the PDP and the Congress came together and threatened mass agitation if the Governor administration did not review its decision to permanently post the divisional commissioner and inspector general of police headquarters in Leh.
On Sunday, thousands of people also staged a rally in Kargil and submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner to press for their demand.
Malik replied in negative when asked whether his administration plans to give divisional status to any other region of the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference are advocating similar status to Pir Panjal and Chenab valley region.
“It (divisional status) was imperative for both the districts of Leh and Kargil…let those talking about it come to power and do so,” the Governor said.
The Kargil residents including their leaders affiliated with different political parties assembled at Karbala complex in the high-security Wazarat road here Monday morning and took out a rally which ended peacefully at the Press Club, Jammu, after passing through the Residency Road.
Prominent among those who took part in the rally included Legislative Council Chairman Haji Anayat Ali, Chief Executive Councilor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Kargil, Feroz Khan, former ministers Qamar Ali Akhoon, Asgar Karbalai, Nissar Ali, former MP Hassan Khan.
The leaders also addressed the gathering at the Press Club, vowing to continue the “united struggle” till the “genuine demands” of the people of Kargil are not met.
Azad on Jharkhand lynching: Keep new India with you, give us old India
New Delhi, Jun 24: Coming down heavily on the government over recent incidents of lynching and crime in Jharkhand, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the state has become a factory of lynching and violence, “requesting” Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “give us our Old India where there was love, culture.”
“Dalits and Muslims are killed there every week. The PM, we are with you in the fight of ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’, but it should be there for people to see it. We can’t see it anywhere,” Azad said in Rajya Sabha.
“I request you to keep the New India to yourself and give us our Old India where there was love, culture. Hindus used to feel the pain when Muslims and Dalits used to get hurt. When something used to get into the eyes of Hindus, Muslims and Dalits used to shed tears for them,” he added.
“In Old India, there was no hatred, anger or lynching. New India is one where humans are enemies of each other. You won’t be scared of animals in a jungle, but you’ll be scared of humans in a colony. Give us India where Hindus, Muslims,Sikhs and Christians live for each other,” he said.
In yet another lynching incident, a Muslim man was beaten up mercilessly for over 18 hours on the suspicion of theft in Jharkhand’s Kharsawan district on Saturday. The 24-year-old victim, identified as Tabrez Ansari, was attacked by a mob on June 18 and was later handed over to the police. He had been in the judicial custody since June 18 and was taken to a hospital on June 22 after his condition deteriorated. On the same day, Ansari succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
Several videos of the incident emerged on social media show a man hitting Tabrez brutally with a wooden stick while forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. The videos of the Jharkhand mob lynching case have gone viral on social networking sites ever since the incident came to the light.
GoI approves amendments to give more teeth to NIA
New Delhi, Jun 24: The Union Cabinet is learnt to have approved a proposal to amend two laws to give more teeth to the NIA in probing ‘terror’ cases in India and abroad, sources said Monday.
Separate bills will be introduced in Parliament in the coming days to amend the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, they said.
The amendments will also allow the NIA probe cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking, sources aware of the proposal said.
Amendment to Schedule 4 of the UAPA will allow the NIA to designate an individual suspected to have ‘terror links as a terrorist’. As of now, only organisations are designated as ‘terrorist organisations’.
The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai attack that had claimed 166 lives.
Since 2017, the Union Home Ministry has been considering the two laws to give more power to the NIA to meet fresh challenges, the sources pointed out.
Another proposal to introduce a bill to extend the facility of proxy voting to overseas Indians could not be taken up Monday.
A similar bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month.
“The agenda of the Law Ministry stands postponed,” a functionary said.
As of now, overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies they are registered.
The Bill seeks to give them the option of proxy voting, which is as of now available to service personnel only.
Another proposal to amend the Representation of the People Act related to the spouses of service voters could not be taken up on Monday.
As of now, an armyman’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman army officer’s husband is not, according to the provisions in the electoral law.
The bill proposes to replace the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’, thus making the provision gender-neutral. Members of the armed forces, central armed police forces, personnel of state police forces posted outside their state and employees of the Centre posted outside India are eligible to be enrolled as service voters.
Youths click selfies, walk alongside Leopard in Kishtwar
Srinagar, Jun 24: Pointing towards the increasing man-animal conflict is J&K, a video that went viral on Monday shows a few youth carelessly walking right alongside a leopard on a tarred road while clicking photos and videos in some mountainous region.
The incident reportedly took place in Chingam area of Kishtwar district. The video shows at least three youth audaciously ambling near the leopard that, surprisingly, isn’t aggressive.
The incident comes to the fore days after days after two leopards were spotted in residential areas of Budgam and Srinagar.
Deputy conservator of forests, wild life division, Kashmir, Rouf Zargar had told The Kashmir Monitor that one female leopard and an adult cub were spotted at Ompora, Budgam.
“They were spotted in the adjacent villages of Budgam and Airport. We are doing our best to trace them. Till the time we catch those, people should refrain from moving out during nights and in the wee hours,” he said.
There has been a spike in man-animal conflict in the last few years with several incidents of attacks by bears and leopards taking place in multiple areas of the valley.