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Kathua case : SC asks JK to file reply by Apr 27

Orders security to victim’s family, lawyer, activist

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New Delhi, Apr 16: The Supreme Court of India Monday asked J&K government to file a reply by April 27 on whether a plea to transfer the Kathua rape and murder case from the state’s courts to Chandigarh should be allowed.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by the father of the victim, an 8-year-old-girl, who was abducted, gang-raped and murdered between January 10 and 17 in Rassana, a village in Kathua district.

The father of the victim, through his counsels, pleaded that he was not expecting a fair in Kathua given the protests by the lawyers there in support of the accused.

 

He also raised the issues relating to witness protection, protection for the victim’s family as well as the lawyer and the social activist who have been helping the family get justice.

Shoeb Alam, the counsel for J&K, told the apex court that the state has “provided adequate protection to the family members of the victim, and has no objection to provide security to the counsel appearing for the victim.”

“As far as transfer of the case is concerned, he intends to file a reply,” the SC said.

The Supreme Court directed the State to keep the security, as provided to the family members of the victim, in continuity.

It also directed the state to provide security to Deepika Singh Rajawat the lawyer representing the victim, and her (lawyer’s) family members.

 “Protection shall be provided to Talib Hussain, who is assisting the victim’s family in prosecution of the grievance by remaining present in the Court or engaging counsel to assist the public prosecutor,” read the proceedings of the case on Monday.

During the hearing, the victim’s father expressed satisfaction with the probe so far, conducted by Jammu and Kashmir Police and opposed the plea for CBI investigation demanded by others.

The bench said those policemen providing security to the victim’s family and others will be in plain clothes.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud was also critical of the Jammu High Court Bar Association, which had passed a resolution not to attend the courts saying “it is the duty of the bar association as a collective body and they cannot obstruct the process of law”.

According to the charge sheets filed by the crime branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the Bakerwal girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.

It lists the caretaker of ‘Devisthan’, a small temple, in a village in Kathua, as the main conspirator behind the crime.

Sanji Ram was allegedly joined by special police officers Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, Ram’s nephew, a juvenile, and his son Vishal Jangotra alias “Shamma”.

The charge sheet also names investigating officers head constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.

All eight are under arrest.

The crime branch will also be handing over the notices issued to the Jammu Bar Council as well as Kathua Bar Council for appearing before the Supreme Court on April 19.

The Bar Association of Kathua has already retracted from its earlier statement of providing legal assistance free of cost to the accused and said after going through the charge sheet presented by the crime branch (against the accused in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate on April 9) it is revealed that the allegations against the accused persons are very grave and as such this case is to be dealt with in a professional way.

Members of the same association had blocked the way of crime branch personnel from submitting the charge sheet before the chief judicial magistrate for six hours forcing the police to present it at the house of the magistrate.

Police have already registered a case against lawyers for obstructing public servants from performing their duty.


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Zakir Musa killing: Shutdown, restrictions on Day 2 as well

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, May 25: A complete shutdown was Saturday observed in Kashmir on the second as well against the killing of Zakir Musa, the militant ‘commander’ and chief of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH), who was shot dead during an encounter in Dadsara, Tral early Friday morning.
Authorities also continued placing curbs in parts of the valley to foil any protests or clashes. Following the orders from the divisional administration, all educational institutes across Kashmir remained closed for the second consecutive day as well.
High-speed mobile internet continued to remain suspended in most districts of Kashmir although 2G- speed internet service was restored in Budgam, Ganderbal and Srinagar on Saturday afternoon.
A police official said the curbs on the movement of people were in force in parts of Srinagar, Kulgam and Pulwama.
Train service on the Baramulla-Banihal line also remained suspended, the official said.
“Curfew continued to remain imposed in parts of the Kashmir valley today (Saturday) as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” the official said.
In Srinagar, he added, strict restrictions were in place in Nowhatta, Rainawari, Khanyar, Safakadal and M R Gung areas, while partial restrictions were in force in Maisuma and Kralkhud areas.
The official said that government forces including police and paramilitary was deployed in strength in other parts of the valley to avoid any untoward incident.
Meanwhile, most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments remained shut in the valley following the strike call by Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani against the killing of Zakir and a civilian Zahoor Ahmad, a resident of Naira Pulwama – who was killed allegedly by government forces on Thursday.
Public transport was also off the roads.
Zakir, one of the most-wanted militant ‘commanders’ in Kashmir, was killed in the encounter at Dadsara Tral after forces launched a search operation late Thursday evening following specific information about the presence of militants there.
His killing led to spontaneous shutdown and protests in the valley.

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Zakir’s death marks end of ‘radical jihad’: DGP

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Srinagar, May 25: Police Saturday said the killing of Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH) Chief Zakir Musa has ended the “cult and concept of radical jihad” and Zakir was the last militant of “ISIS-influenced ideology”.
“Zakir Musa had created a new concept of radical jihad and militancy in Kashmir. He was the last militant of such radicalised ideology. With his killing, security forces have eliminated the last such militant who was influenced by ISIS kind of militancy in Kashmir,” Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh was quoted saying by a local news agency.
The DGP said that youth should understand that “radical ideology or other kind of militancy leads to death and destruction.”
“Some youth were influenced by the radical ideology of Zakir Musa and we would see youth waving ISIS flags in Downtown around Jamia Masjid on Fridays. His killing is the death of radical concept of Jihad in Kashmir. Any radical idea of militancy is against the interests of youth and other people of the state,” the DGP said.
The DGP said that he appreciates and is grateful to the people of Kashmir for “maintaining peace and calm in the last three days.”
Zakir was killed in Dadsara village of Tral in Pulwama district by government forces in a gunfight during the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.
His killing triggered protests at several places with authorities imposing restrictions and Hurriyat calling for shutdown in Kashmir.

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‘Minorities have been cheated, have to stop it: Modi

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New Delhi, May 25: A bow before the Constitution of India was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first action after being unanimously elected the National Democratic Alliance’s leader as he set the agenda for the next term of his government in the Central Hall of Parliament on Saturday.
In his address, Modi reached out to minorities, who he said have been “cheated” by the opposition and called for the lawmakers to earn their trust and put an end to the deception immediately.
“We have worked for sabka saath, sabka vikas, now we have to strive for sabka vishwas,” the PM said while addressing NDA MPs in parliament’s Central Hall Saturday evening.
“The way the poor have been cheated, the minorities have been deceived the same way. It would have been good if their education, their health had been in focus. I expect from you in 2019 that you would be able to make a hole in that deception. We have to earn their trust,” PM Modi said.
The PM, who is likely to be sworn in next week, said this time in the general elections, people voted for pro-incumbency.
“There was pro-incumbency wave in this election, its result was a positive mandate,” the PM told NDA leaders, and added, “The 2019 elections have helped bring down walls, connect hearts.”
The BJP scored 303 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha in the national election and along with its allies, won a remarkable tally of 353.
The formality of allies naming PM Modi as the undisputed leader of the NDA was carried out in the Central Hall of parliament amid loud applause, desk-thumping and chants of “Modi, Modi”.
Top alliance leaders, including Janata Dal United chief Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray and Akali Dal’s Parkash Singh Badal were in the meeting.
On the dais, senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi flanked PM Modi.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal moved a resolution to elect PM Modi as the leader of the NDA Parliamentary Party which was supported by JDU chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and other leaders of the NDA.
“The people have accepted Narendra Modi experiment again from their heart. I want to say this about Modiji, whom I have worked with – for 20 years, he has not taken even a day off. He has worked 18 hours a day.”
On Friday, the council of ministers led by PM Modi submitted their resignation which was accepted by President Kovind, paving way for formation of new government.
Accepting PM Modi’s resignation, the president had had asked them to continue as a caretaker until the formation of a new government.

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