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KASHMIR SHUTS, UNEASY CALM PREVAILS; youth injured in Kangan critical

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Apr 02: Kashmir on Monday observed a complete shutdown against Shopian killings even as authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar and south Kashmir.
Nearly two dozen persons were injured in fresh clashes in many parts of Valley while a 22-year-old youth injured critically at Kangan area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.
Locals allege that the youth, Gowhar Ahmad Rather son of Abdul Rehman suffered bullet injuries, police however denied it claiming he was injured while running away protests.
Locals said that there were clashes at Kangan area and government forces resorted to teargas shells, pellets and opened few rounds.
One of the youth Gowhar Ahmad Rather son of Abdul Rehman suffered critical head injuries and has been admitted to SKIMS Soura.
An official of the local police station said that it is being investigated as to how the youth suffered injuries.
“Today on 02-03-2018 a group of miscreants had gathered in Kangan market to pelt stones and disturb law and order in the area. A police party reached the spot on seeing which the miscreants started running during the course of which a boy Gowhar Ahmad Rather son Abdur Rahman Rather of Kangan fell down and injured his head on the edge of the drain,” a police spokesman said.
He said the injured person was taken to Trauma Hospital Kangan from where he was referred to SKIMS Soura. “Reports regarding bullet injury are completely false since no bullet was fired on the spot,” the spokesman added.
Medical Superintendent of SKIMS Soura Dr. Farooq Jan confirmed that Gowhar was received in critical conditions and is being treated.
“His condition is very bad,” he said. Asked whether he has been hit by bullet or cause of injury is something else, the Medical Superintended said: I can’t say anything right now.
Reports of minor clashes were received from several parts of Valley including Memendar, Zainpora, Kellar, Gool Chakri Shopian, Beerwah Budgam, Bandipora, Sumbal, Safapora, Soura, Parimpora, Pinglina Chowk Pulwama and Kulgam. While nearly 15 persons were suffered minor injuries at Kulgam and Anatnag, at least six persons suffered pellet wounds at Gool Chakri, they said.
The authorities had also closed colleges and schools while Kashmir University and CUK postponed all exams scheduled for the day. Train services also remained suspended even as internet services were completely blocked in most parts of Kashmir Valley.
The Joint Hurriyat Leadership had called for the Valley-wide shutdown to protests against killing of thirteen militants and four civilians.
Shops and business establishments remained closed in the entire Valley while public transport was off the roads due to the strike, reports quoting eyewitnesses said.
Also, to thwart the protests, authorities had put parts of Srinagar including Old City and Maisuma under strict restrictions.
Similarly, curfew-like restrictions were imposed in Kulgam town of south Kashmir to prevent people from staging protests against the killings, official sources said. A police officer told GNS that the decision was taken to maintain “law and order.”
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in several areas of Ramban district against the Shopian killings.
Reports said the highway town of Banihal, Khari, Tethar and Chareel in Ramban district observed complete shutdown to mourn the death of 17 people, including 13 militants, in three separate gunfights.
All business establishments and schools remained closed while local transport remained off the roads in these areas, reports said.
Contingents of police were deployed in these areas to prevent protests, they said.
Internet services remained blocked in Shopian, Pulwama and Srinagar since last evening while as speed was reduced to 2G elsewhere.
A railway official said that train services were suspended and the decision was taken in wake of the apprehensions of law and order in the Valley.
The schools and colleges also remained closed. All examinations of CUK and KU scheduled for were cancelled.
Kashmir University on Monday announced cancellation of all examinations scheduled for tomorrow. The varsity also suspended class work.
“In view of concerns expressed by students, all Kashmir University examinations scheduled to be held on April 3, 2018 (Tuesday) are postponed. Fresh dates for the deferred examinations shall be notified separately, later,” reads a statement issued by the varsity.
“Meanwhile, the classwork in the teaching departments shall remain suspended on April 3, 2018,” the statement added.
The government has also decided to keep all schools and colleges in Kashmir Valley closed on Tuesday as well.
A spokesman of the education department said that the decision has been taken as a “precautionary measure” to avoid law and order situation in the Valley.


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Pak must review death sentence of Kulbhushan Jadhav: ICJ

Agencies

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The Hague, Jul 17: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday announced its verdict on India’s petition challenging the death sentence given to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, ruling that Jadhav be allowed consular access and asking Pakistan to ensure “effective review and reconsideration of his conviction and sentences”.

The court found by 15 votes to 1 that Pakistan had breached Jadhav’s rights under the Vienna convention on consular relations by not allowing Indian diplomats to visit him in jail.

It said that nothing in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR) precludes its applicability to persons accused of espionage.

 

The provision basically states that when a national of a foreign country is arrested, they must be informed of the right to have their country’s consulate notified and should also have the right to regular consultation with their consulate’s officials during their detention and trial.

Pakistan had argued, unsuccessfully, that Article 36 of the VCCR does not apply to people involved in espionage.

Pakistan has been directed to suspend the execution of the death penalty awarded to Jadhav till it fulfills the new conditions (ensuring consular access and ‘effectively’ reviewing the case).

The ICJ, however, also rejected most of the other remedies sought by India, which included the annulment of the military court decision convicting Jadhav, his release and his return to India. It cited limitations of its jurisdiction in turning down those appeals.

Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India

Reading out the verdict, President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav”.

The verdict in the high-profile case comes nearly five months after a 15-member bench of ICJ led by Judge Yusuf had reserved its decision on February 21 after hearing oral submissions by India and Pakistan. The proceedings of the case took two years and two months to complete.

India moved the ICJ in May 8, 2017 for the “egregious violation” of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to Jadhav.

TIMELINE

2016

3 Mar: Pakistan claims arresting Jadhav in Balochistan on charges of espionage. India claims he was kidnapped from Iran.

25 Mar: India is formally informed by Pakistan of Jadhav’s arrest. A confessional statement is released by Pakistan in which Jadhav claims to be a serving Indian Navy officer. India responds by moving the first of several requests for custodial access.

6 Sep: Pak files “supplementary” FIR naming 15 individuals as “accomplices and facilitators” of Jadhav, including NSA Ajit Doval, former RAW chief Alok Joshi, his wife Chetankul Jadhav, and mother Avanti Jadhav.

21 Sep: Military court begins hearing Jadhav case.

2017

6 Jan: Pak ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi presents a dossier to the UN chief alleging India’s involvement in cross-border terrorism in Pakistan and Jadhav’s arrest.

23 Jan: Islamabad writes to New Delhi, seeking assistance in investigating the Jadhav case, and saying its request for consular assistance shall be considered “in the light of the Indian side’s response”.

10 Apr: Jadhav is sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan. India deems the death penalty as “pre-meditated murder”.

27 Apr: India writes to Pakistan, asking it for certified copies of the chargesheet, proceedings of the court of enquiry, the summary of evidence in the case, and the judgment itself. No reply is received.

22 Jun: Pakistan states that a military court has rejected Jadhav’s appeal.

8 May: India moves the International Court of Justice, and receives an interim stay on Jadhav’s execution, pending final orders in the case.

26 Oct: Islamabad writes to New Delhi, offering to discuss extraditing him to India should the government accept he is “considered a criminal under the laws of India.”

25 Dec: Jadhav’s mother and wife are allowed to visit him in prison.

2018

Jan 17: Apr 17 and July 17 fixed as deadlines for India’s Reply and Pak’s Rejoinder respectively.

2019

Feb 18-21: India and Pak make two rounds of oral arguments at The Hague.

Jul 4: ICJ announces that the President of the Court, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, will read the Court’s decision on July 17.

How binding are ICJ judgments?

Srinagar, Jul 17: According to ICJ, judgments delivered by the court (or by one of its chambers) in disputes between states are binding upon the parties concerned. Article 94 of the United Nations Charter provides that “each Member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of [the court] in any case to which it is a party”. Judgments are final and without appeal.

If there is a dispute about the meaning or scope of a judgment, the only possibility is for one of the parties to make a request to the court for an interpretation. In the event of the discovery of a fact hitherto unknown to the court which might be a decisive factor, either party may apply for revision of the judgment.

However, there have been instances when the ICJ’s rulings have not been followed. The most famous one was in 1986, when the ICJ ruled in a petition by Nicaragua, which alleged that the US had waged a covert war against it by supporting a rebellion.

The ICJ ordered reparations from the US in favour of Nicaragua. The US, in response, cancelled its declaration of the ICJ’s jurisdiction. It then went to the UN Security Council against the ICJ order and succeeded.

So, whatever the ICJ decides, both governments will have to be prepared for a long haul.

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Hafiz Saeed arrested by Pak’s counter-terrorism dept

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jul 17: Jamat ud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was arrested Wednesday by Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in connection with charges related to terror financing, Dawn and Geo news reported.

The arrest, as per the reports, was made when Saeed was travelling to Gujranwala from Lahore to appear before an anti-terrorism court. The Mumbai 26/11 mastermind has been moved to an undisclosed location, it added.

Quoting CTD spokesperson for Punjab, Dawn reported that Saeed, following his arrest, was sent to prison on judicial remand after the counter-terrorism department presented him before a Gujranwala anti-terrorism court (ATC).

 

The CTD has been directed to complete its investigation and submit a charge sheet to the court in the stipulated time, the report said.

A JuD spokesperson also confirmed the arrest to Reuters.

The arrest comes in the wake of an ATC in Lahore granting Saeed pre-arrest bail. Along with Saeed, three others were also granted the bail in a case pertaining to JuD’s alleged illegal use of land for its seminary, Dawn reported on July 14.

The CTD had registered 23 cases in July against the leadership of JuD, LeT and FIF (Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation) for gaining assets from “terrorism” financing through non-profit organisations. The move was termed by India as “cosmetic steps against terror groups by Pakistan”.

“Pakistan is trying to hoodwink the international community on taking action against terror groups. Let us not get fooled by cosmetic steps against terror groups by Pakistan,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said.

Pakistan’s push against Saeed came after Financial Action Task Force (FATF), at a plenary session in USA. FATF chair, the US, had told Pakistan it could face blacklisting at its next session in October if it did not adhere to its commitments to stop access to funds for “terror” groups.

Saeed’s arrest comes just ahead of Prime Minister Khan’s maiden visit to the US on July 21 during which he will hold talks with US President Donald Trump. Trump has repeatedly asked Pakistan to abide by its UN Security Council commitments to deny “terrorists” safe haven and block their access to funds.

The Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba which is deemed to be responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated “Global Terrorist”, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.

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LeT militant killed in Sopore gunfight

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jun 17: After a brief lull in the encounters in Kashmir, a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant identified as a local, was Wednesday killed in a gunfight at Gund-Brath village of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Giving details of the encounter, a police official said that Army’s 22 RR, 179 BN CRPF and SOG of J&K police jointly launched a cordon-and-search operation in Gund Brath village of Sopore following specific information about the presence of militants inside a residential house.

During the search operation, the official said, the hiding militant fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter.

 

In the ensuing encounter, one militant was killed and the body was retrieved from the site of encounter.

The slain militant was identified as Adnan Ali Channa son of Ali Muhammad Channa, a resident of Arampora Azad-Gunj, Baramulla.

As per the police records, the slain was affiliated with militant outfit LeT.

Meanwhile, authorities suspended internet services in Sopore and Baramulla as a precautionary measure in wake of this encounter. Later in the day, thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of slain militant at his native village Azadgunj.

The encounter was the first one after the commencement of annual pilgrimage of Amarnath on July 1.

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