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Kishtwar mob violence: Two employees suspended for taking part in ransacking

Police, admin review situation

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Jammu, Apr 28: District Development Commissioner Kishtwar, Angrez Singh Rana, Sunday suspended two government officials for taking part in ransacking DC office complex Kishtwar during vandalizing of government property during a protest here Saturday in connection with arrest of miscreants involved in the killing of Chander Kant Sharma and his PSO at District Hospital Kishtwar.

The suspended officials were Satya Bushan Sharma, Teacher, HS Nagbhatna presently attached in Government Girls Higher Secondary School Kishtwar and Tilak Raj, Forester, Nagseni, Range.

The order issued by the DDC, in this regard, reads as, “A strong protest was held on 27-04-2019 inside DC Office Complex, Kishtwar led by members of Sanatan Dharam Sabha Kishtwar in which a large number of men and women participated. The protestors raised slogans against the State Administration for its failure to arrest the culprits responsible behind the killing of Chander Kant Sharma and his PSO at District Hospital Kishtwar by the miscreants. During the procession, some miscreants broke down window and door glasses, Almirahs etc. and also damaged  record files besides window panes of two official vehicles in which two aforesaid officials were found involved in vandalizing the government property, which amounts to grave misconduct on the part of the erring Officials and warrants the invocation of action in accordance with the provision of J&K (Classification, Control and Appeal Rules) of 1956 read with the J&K Govt. Employees (Conduct) Rules 1971.”

 

The order further stated that the erring officials shall remain attached in the offices of CEO, Kishtwar and DFO, Kishtwar respectively during the suspension period.

Moreover, Additional Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, Pawan Kumar Parihar, has been appointed as enquiry officer for conducting a detailed enquiry into the matter and furnish the report within next fifteen days.

Senior civil and police officers Sunday visited Kishtwar town of Jammu and Kashmir and reviewed the law and order situation in the aftermath of the recent killing of a senior RSS leader and vandalization of public property by a mob, officials said.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma along with Inspector General of Police (IGP), Jammu, M K Sinha reached Kishtwar Sunday morning and convened a joint meeting with senior officers of civil and police administration, Army and CRPF to review the present law and order situation in the district, the officials said.

A mob Saturday ransacked a government building housing the office of deputy commissioner, damaged two parked official vehicles and set ablaze an effigy of Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik during a protest rally against the killings of four people over the past five months.

The officials said Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, Angrez Singh Rana briefed the meeting about the prevailing law and order situation in the district.

Addressing the meeting, the officials said the IGP directed police to take stern action against those who indulge in any type of violence and try to disturb peaceful environment in the district.

Later, the divisional commissioner and the IGP Jammu visited DC Office, Kishtwar and took stock of damage to government property by the miscreants, the officials said.

Sinha asked Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner to ensure early fencing of the complex to avoid any untoward incident

Meanwhile, a BJP leader and former minister led members of a local religious group Sunday offered voluntary arrest in Kishtwar to protest the killings.

BJP leader Sunil Kumar Sharma along with over half-a-dozen office bearers of Sanatan Dharam Sabha (SDS), a local religious group, staged a demonstration and raised slogans against Governor Satya Pal Malik and the district administration before walking inside the Kishtwar police station for offering voluntary arrest, the officials said.       

They said senior civil and police officials had reached the police station.

RSS leader Chandrakant Sharma and his security guard were killed by a militant inside the district hospital on April 9, while state secretary of BJP, Anil Parihar, and his brother Ajeet Parihar were killed in the town on November 1 last year.

“We have decided to present ourselves for voluntary arrest to protest the crackdown and harassment of our youth after the minor incident which was the result of anger over the failure of the administration to arrest the culprits behind the gruesome killings and take necessary steps to restore confidence of the people,” the former BJP legislator told reporters.

Sunil Kumar Sharma, who also participated in the rally taken out from Char Chinar to the deputy commissioner’s office, warned the administration of “serious consequences” if it “continues with the harassment of the SDS members and youths on the pretext of investigation”.

“Militancy is going on for the last many years in the state and the militants are getting killed but what we are facing here is militancy from the administration,” he alleged.


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LS Polls 2019:Exit polls predict comfortable win for Modi-led NDA

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New Delhi, May 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alliance government is likely to return to power after a mammoth general election that ended on Sunday, exit polls showed.

NDTV’s poll of polls said the NDA would get 302 seats, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) 127 seats and other parties (Others) 114 seats.

The Republic TV exit poll gave the NDA 305 seats, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) 124 and others 120. Times Now exit poll gave the BJP alliance 306 seats, the UPA 132 seats and Others 104.

 

News Nation gave the NDA between 282 to 290 seats, the UPA between 118 and 126 seats and Others 130 to 138 seats. Sudarshan News gave the NDA 313 seats, UPA 121 seats and Others 109+.

Analysts see the election as a referendum on Modi’s five-year rule. He has adopted a nationalist pitch in trying to win votes by projecting a tough stance against Pakistan, especially after a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 paramilitary soldiers in Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir.

He has also spoken about a Rs 75,000-crore income support scheme for farmers, toilets built as part of the national cleanliness campaign Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, rural electrification scheme Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana and cooking gas scheme for the poor Ujjwala Yojana.

The Congress and other Opposition parties are challenging the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government over unemployment and farmers’ distress aggravated by low crop prices. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has also accused Modi of corruption in the purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France.

Voter turnout in the first six rounds was approximately 66 per cent, according to the Election Commission, compared with 66.40 per cent in the nine-phase Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

Voting has largely been peaceful but for sporadic violence in West Bengal, where the BJP is trying to wrest seats from Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee’s All India Trinamool Congress.

In a drastic and unprecedented action, the Election Commission curtailed campaigning by a day in West Bengal on Thursday, after days of clashes in the final stretch of the election.

Pre-election poll surveys by the media indicate that no party is likely to win anything close to a majority in the 543-seat Parliament. The BJP, which won a majority of 282 seats in 2014, may need some regional parties as allies to stay in power.

The BJP will need to do well in Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats, the most in a state. The party had won 71 of them in 2014, but this time it has been challenged by a coalition between the Bahujan Samajwadi Party, the Samajwadi Party, and the Rashtriya Lok Dal.

The voting on Sunday covers 59 seats in eight states and Union Territories. It also includes Modi’s constituency of Varanasi, where he had won in 2014.

Votes cast in the seven phases of elections will be counted on May 23.

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New dispensation in Delhi has to address Kashmir issue: Mirwaiz

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Srinagar, May 19: Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday said that Hurriyat leadership was ready to support talks between India and Pakistan provided India accepted Kashmir as a dispute.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Hurriyat Conference here, he said, “We are not against either the people of India or development. If India and Pakistan initiate a dialogue, we are ready to support it, but India must first accept the basic reality that there can be no military solution to the Kashmir dispute”.

He said the Hurriyat Conference was against India’s policies which were presently being implemented in Kashmir.

 

“It is unfortunate that New Delhi has choked all means of peaceful protest in the Valley. Even pro-freedom leaders are not allowed to meet the people. How can ideas come up if all spaces are choked,” he asked.

Mirwaiz further said that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had realised that the only possible solution to the Kashmir dispute could be found through a dialogue process.

He also demanded that the Indian government should withdraw the bans imposed on different organisations in Kashmir.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, termed the present prevailing situation in Kashmir as sensitive and painful stating that there is no letup in the policies of repression and intimidations as killings, harassment and CASOs continue unabated even in this holy month of Ramadhan.

He said there were apprehensions whether the authorities would allow the seminar as last year, the then government had barred it and caged entire Hurriyat leadership. Mirwaiz said that the repressive measures are being taken to suppress the genuine voices of people of Kashmir.

Mirwaiz said that he was feeling the pain whenever any youth is martyred in government forces action or in encounters stating that that it was beyond doubt that the gun-wielding local boys were the products of the ongoing oppression and they are getting consumed in the ongoing unresolved conflict. He said emotions and repressions is driving the educated youth of Kashmir towards armed means of resistance as every scope for raising voices peacefully stand chocked.

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Touted as game-changer, ambitious e-governance SWAN project yet to take off even after 13 years

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, May 19: Thirteen years on, the ambitious State Wide Area Network (SWAN) project is yet to see the light of the day in Jammu and Kashmir.

The 2005 Government of India project was aimed to synchronize all official departments of a given state through a dedicated internet connection in a closed used group. Thirteen years after the approval, the project is yet to be completed.

The government has now appointed a four member committee to conduct a thorough probe into the irregularities and lack of progress in implementation of SWAN project. Headed by Principal Secretary Transport Department, the four member committee includes Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce Department, and Secretary Higher Education. The fact finding panel have been asked to submit the report by June 6.  

 

Project Manager, Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency, Irfan Ahmad and Public Information Officer, Imran-ul-Sofi pleaded ignorance about the status of the project. Instead of divulging details, both officers asked to contact Financial Commissioner, Information Technology, Suresh Kumar.

Kumar however could not be contacted for the comments. Additional Secretary Information Technology Vaibhav Kohli passed the buck to project managers. “You ask project managers about the same,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency (JaKeGA) functions under the Information Technology. As per the details available on its website, the SWAN project is a major core infrastructure project under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).

The project, if implemented, was expected to provide connectivity to the two state headquarters (SHQ), 20 District Headquarters (DHQ), and 152 block headquarters (BHQ) with a minimum internet speed of 2 megabytes per second.

Further, the network would have connected all state and designated government offices located within a 15 kms radius of the SHQ, all state and other designated offices located within 10 kms of each DHQ), and all state and other designated offices located within five kms of each BHQ.

In 2009, the then government had prepared a Draft Proposal Report (DPR) for Rs 106.57 crores for implementing SWAN in the state and forwarded the same to Ministry of Information Technology Government of India.  The tenders were floated four different times until March 2014 but all of them were cancelled since bids received for creating SWAN were apparently high.

SWAN would have substantially reduced the overall time taken in completing administrative tasks by providing converged communications services (voice, data and video) accessible to all government departments. “It would have reduced unnecessary movement of vehicles, employees and documents”, said an official.

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