Srinagar, Feb 13: A complete shutdown was Wednesday observed in Kashmir following the Joint Hurriyat’s two-day strike call (Feb 13-14) against the challenge in the Supreme Court on the validity of Article 35-A, which bars people from outside Jammu and Kashmir from acquiring any immovable property in the state.
As per eyewitnesses, all the shops and business establishments were closed across the Valley while as thin movement of private vehicles was seen on roads.
The government forces were deployed in strength at vulnerable places in the city and elsewhere in Kashmir for maintaining ‘law and order’, a police official said.
Various organisations including Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries extended support to the shutdown call of the Joint Hurriyat.
Joint Hurriyat comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik said that “people of Jammu and Kashmir will forcefully resist every challenge by New Delhi to change the demography of the State by rolling back hereditary state subject laws of 1927, being contested in the Supreme Court through their agents.”
In a statement, the spokesman said that the late announcement and ambiguity over the dates of hearing of 35A and 370 by Supreme Court on 13 or 14 of February is “worrisome, and indicates of mischief”.
The leadership warned the authorities that if anything adverse to the interests of the people of J&K and its disputed status is announced through the courts a mass people’s agitation will be started instantly across the state and the responsibility of the consequences of that will be entirely on those forcing us to react, the statement said.
Joint Hurriyat withdraws strike call for today
Srinagar, Feb 13: Joint Hurriyat Leadership Wednesday withdrew the protest strike call against the hearing of Article 35 A case in Supreme Court of India on February 14 (Thursday).
“…the lawyers conveyed to the leadership that in the cause list issued by the Supreme Court at 7 pm on Wednesday, it (ARt 35-A) is not listed for hearing tomorrow,” Joint Hurriyat said in a statement.
The Kashmir bar association led by senior lawyers Mian Qayoom, Zafar Shah, Zaffar Qureshi, Mohammad Ashraf and others are in New Delhi defending the case at the Supreme Court on behalf of the people of J&K.
They are in touch with the leadership.
Joint Hurriyat said the senior lawyers of Bar will be present at the Supreme Court for the whole day on Thursday as well and will closely monitor the case and update the leadership about it.
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.