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Labs to test quality of rice coming up in JK capitals

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Jan 1: The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to set up a scientific laboratory in the valley for monitoring the quality of rice procured for the consumers in the state.

As per the manual of the procedures, the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) has to keep a check on the quality and quantity of the procurement by conducting physical verification of all the stocks of central godowns and various sale and storage centres.

However, an official of FCS&CA said there is no testing laboratory or trained manpower available with the department for checking scientifically the quality of food grains.

 

“We don’t have any scientific laboratory in which we can check or monitor the quality of rice that we purchase from Food Corporation of India. We only conduct physical verification. As such, there has to be a scientific laboratory to ensure the quality of rice is not compromised,” the official said.

He added that the government is in the process of identifying the land for such the laboratory.

“The laboratory will possibly to be set up in Bemina and will have all the modern equipment to gauge the quality of rice. Government has also decided to hire experts to run it,” the official added.

FCS&CA Kashmir Director, Muhammad Qasim Wani, confirmed it and said they have initiated the process for setting up of the laboratory.

“The laboratories will be set up in Srinagar as well as in Jammu,” Wani told The Kashmir Monitor.

He, however, said that department, until the labs are ready, won’t allow any compromise with the quality of rice being procured.

“We take samples if there are any complaints. There is not even a one percent compromise,” he claimed.

Similarly, he said there was zero tolerance on ration pilferage. “There is complete transparency in the department now,” he said.

The Director said that department has installed CCTV cameras in godown and offices.

“We are also considering installing of CCTV cameras in every ration depot. We have taken some measures by which the ration pilferage and black-marketing have been stopped,” he added.


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India revokes MFN status granted to Pakistan

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New Delhi, Feb 15: India on Friday announced that it had decided to withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status granted to Pakistan and would also take all possible steps to isolate the country at the international level after Thursday’s car bomb attack in which at least 49 CRPF men were killed in Kashmir.
Briefing the press after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), Minister Arun Jaitley said outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence that the Ministry of External Affairs would announce the diplomatic steps to be taken against Pakistan.
A notification would be issued by the Commerce Ministry withdrawing the MFN status.
Jaitley announced that the government would call for an all-party meeting after Home Minister Rajnath Singh returned from a visit to Kashmir.
Speaking at a public function just after Jaitley’s briefing, Modi assured people that the perpetrators of the attack would be punished.
He said it was important that the country spoke in one voice after the strike.
The CCS meet morning was chaired by the Prime Minister. Rajnath Singh, Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman were present at the meeting.
Top security officials are learnt to have made a presentation on the incident and the overall security situation in the State.
Pakistan rejects any link to CRPF convoy attack: India on Friday summoned Pakistan’s top envoy and lodged strong protest over the killing of 49 CRPF soldiers in the Pulwama militant attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
JeM claimed responsibility for the attack that left at least 49 CRPF soldiers dead and many others critically wounded.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood and lodged strong protest over the killing of the CRPF soldiers in Pulwama, official sources said.
Pakistan has denied any involvement in the attack that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF troopers in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”.
“We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations,” said the statement.
Reports said that India has called its High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria to New Delhi “for consultations” in the wake of attack on the CRPF convoy.

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Joint Hurriyat calls for end to hostilities: ‘We regret every killing in Kashmir’

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Srinagar, Feb 15: Reacting to Thursday’s militant attack at Lethpora, Pulwama in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed, Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik Friday said that people and leadership of Kashmir regret every killing that happens on its soil.
“As we witness killing of our loved ones our young, and shoulder their coffins each day, we can feel and understand the pain and sense of loss that the family and friends of those who are killed go through, not for a day or two when everyone is expressing grief and condolences to them, but the silent grief and loss that stays with them for a lifetime,” the leadership said in a statement.
They added that the delay in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, the denial to engage with the sentiments and aspirations of the people of J&K and instead the “use of a muscular military approach to counter an essentially political and human problem, is wreaking havoc in Kashmir”.
“Militarization, CASOs, use of bullets and pellets, blowing-up homes, blinding and maiming, slapping PSAs as a means to crush legitimate political aspirations of a people has not only failed but worsened the situation,” they said.
Joint Hurriyat said that if this “dance of death has to stop, if hatred and revenge have to stop, if killing and counter-killings have to stop and if we really want peace in the region we have to put an end to hostilities.”
“And the most effective and civilized manner to do so, is to reach out and engage and listen to the concerns of all three stakeholders and address them in the spirit of humanity and justice. Resolve the Kashmir dispute for all times,” it said.
Joint Hurriyat also strongly condemned the incidents of arson in Jammu in Gujjar Nagar and elsewhere where some communal elements torched the vehicles of Kashmiris and injured many others.
“Right from 1947 communal forces active in Jammu who leave no stone unturned to attack and intimidate Muslims and Kashmiri people. It is the responsibility of the administration to ensure the safety and security of Muslims and Kashmiris and living there.

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Jammu situation: Move employees threaten to return to Kashmir

Global News Service

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Srinagar, Feb 15: As crowds of miscreants are on a rampage against a particular community in Jammu amid “symbolic” curfew, vehicles of employees from Kashmir have been damaged and stones thrown at official accommodations in the state’s winter capital on Thursday.
Reports said a number of vehicles bearing Kashmir registration numbers have been damaged and attempts made to set on fire their dwellings by the rampaging crowds.
Secretariat Employees Union Ghulam Rasool Mir told GNS that there have been attempts to set ablaze the several residential quarters of employees while stones were thrown at most them.
“Our vehicles have been damaged and attempts have been made to torch our houses,” Mir said.
He said that if the government failed to provide fool proof security, the employees from Kashmir will be forced to return to Kashmir in a bid to protect themselves and their families.
“I have brought it into the notice of Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and Commissioner Secretary Home,” he said, adding: “If the government fails to provide the required security to safeguard the life and property of the employees, we will issue appeal to employees to protect themselves and their families and return to Kashmir.”
Another employees leader, President Darbar Move Employees Federation Owais Wani said that the curfew imposed by the administration is “symbolic” and has not been imposed strictly to enable due protection to the people from Valley including the employees working in civil secretariat and other departments.
“Wherever vehicle bearing numbers belong to Kashmir are seen, they are been damaged,” he added and urged governor to ensure due protection.

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