Jammu, Feb 12: The Governor and the Government have taken note of the sentiments of the people of Kargil, following the decision to create a new Administrative / Revenue Division of Ladakh, official spokesperson of the government said on Tuesday.
The creation of the division has been a long standing need of the people of Ladakh, he said adding: “Ladakh has two districts, Kargil and Leh, and the Government is equally sensitive to the needs and aspirations of both districts. It is also aware of the administrative needs of the region and the connectivity challenges.”
The spokesperson said that it is with this in mind that the Government decision also included the formation of a Committee of very senior officers of the state to determine the location and scope and size of Division level offices, their staffing, size and most importantly, their location in the division.
“This Committee will submit its report only after interacting with all stakeholders and understanding their needs. It will submit this in a very short time. The Government urges all parties to be patient. Everyone’s interest will be taken care of as that is the objective of the Government,” he said.
Omar supports demand of rotational div hqrs
Monitor News Bureau
Srinagar, Feb 12: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah on Tuesday impressed upon governor administration to issue immediate orders of keeping newly announced Ladakh division headquarters on rotational basis between Leh and Kargil.
Omar Abdullah, in a statement, said that one fails to understand as to why the incumbent governor administration has tangled the decision of giving due share to Kargil in administrative “red-tapeism”.
“Government announcement of forming a committee of secretaries to look into the demand of rotational divisional headquarters is a measure to buy time. When the incumbent governor administration was mulling to grant divisional status to Ladakh then it should have taken into consideration the genuine sentiment of Leh, Kargil and other adjoining areas into consideration while deciding on the establishment of divisional headquarters,” he said.
Kargil too should have been given its due share which didn’t happen for reasons known to administration,” he said adding, “It seems the decision was taken in haste and is contrived to pitch one community against the other. Had the idea behind this act been to empower the people of Ladakh then the governor would have had large scale beforehand deliberations over the intricacies involved in the process.”
“Given the fact that people in Kargil and elsewhere in Jammu have taken out huge processions demanding due representation to Kargil underscores the point that incumbent administration has failed to gauge the repercussions of their ill-advised move of keeping headquarters permanently at Leh. It seems they are more interested in playing to galleries which unfortunately has pitted one region against another,” he said.
The NC Vice President said that the idea of keeping divisional headquarters at Leh only will serve no good to the people of kargil. “The distance between Leh and Kargil is greater than what it is between Srinagar and Kargil. It was rather easier for them to visit Srinagar than to visit Leh. Besides that the adjoining areas of Kargil district including Dras are much far off from Leh. Draas is comparatively closer to Srinagar than Leh.”
Omar said what people of Kargil are demanding is not laced with communal overtones. The decision will impede the developmental prospects of many adjoining areas of Kargil including Zanskar and Draas.
He said people across the political divide have come out in protest against the ill-conceived decision. “People are holding massive demonstrations against the move braving subzero temperature of minus seventeen. The move has distressed the people,” he said adding, “The governor should immediately concede to the demands of protesting people.”
In times of hatred, Sikh brethren’s efforts spread positive vibes
Srinagar, Feb 20: With Kashmiris facing the heat following the suicide attack in Pulwama, Sikh groups have come to the rescue of Valleyites putting up in various parts of India.
In the aftermath of Lethpora incident in which 49 CRPF troopers were killed last week, there has been a spate of attacks against Kashmiris in Jammu and other parts of India.
Facing threats and harassment, Kashmiris have been forced to leave their education and businesses midway and make efforts to return home.
In these times of worry, Khalsa Aid International, an NGO, has reached out to the distressed students and offered them all possible help.
At least 30 Sikh youth associated with the NGO, have been helping Kashmiris in various parts.
“We evacuated scores of Kashmiris from Dehradun to Mohali and then to Jammu in the past three days. We transported first batch of 100 students and another of 150 from Dehradun to Jammu with proper security. At least 70 more students are on the way to Jammu,” Jeevanjyot Singh, who is associated with Khalsa International told The Kashmir Monitor.
“Eight Kashmiri girls were also sent to Srinagar by air after rescued from Dehradun,” he said.
Jeevanjyot said that Kashmiri students were feeling safe in Punjab.
“They are also provided accommodation at a Gurduwara in 3D1 sector Mohali arranged by the Gurudwara committee,” he said.
The group has provided several helpline numbers for Ambala, Chandigarh and Dehradun.
The role of Sikh youth has been well appreciated on social media in Kashmir and elsewhere.
“The Sikh sangat has gone above & beyond the call of duty in reaching out & helping Kashmiris in distress, whether in Jammu or outside the state,” former J&K CM, Omar Abdullah tweeted on Wednesday.
Mehbooba Makhdoomi, a prominent columnist and researcher, wrote: Kashmir pays gratitude to Sikh community in general & @Khalsa_Aid International in specific for coming to our rescue, at a time when it mattered. “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah”. Will protect you with our blood, if, God Forbid, the need arises.”
Shinjini, a Twitter user wrote: “These @khalsa guys restore my faith in humanity. At a time when most of the country is going cuckoo, these guys are quietly doing what’s necessary.”
Kabir, a former JNU student, tweeted: “Salutes to @khalsa-Aid, when the streets across India are resonating with hate and malice, the gallant Sikhs came to the rescue of Kashmiris.”
A group of Sikhs from Tral Pulwama have also started free Langer and accommodation for Kashmiris near Jammu bus stand.
“We also have a group of volunteers from Jammu and have been providing all possible help to Kashmiris and many were rescued from mobs,” a Sikh volunteer from Tral told The Kashmir Monitor.
Similarly, the Sikh groups have arranged accommodation at various places in Chandigarh and Jammu for Kashmiris.
One of the students, who returned from Dehradun, said, “Our college authorities told us to leave saying when things get normal they will call us back. There was no safety for us and the crowd outside the campus threatened to beat us up.”
“The state government should make concrete efforts to ensure the safety of Kashmiris, he said adding: “Sikhs really played an important role in rescuing Kashmiri youth from the goons”.
Two Kashmiri shawl vendors attacked on train
New Delhi, Feb 20: Two Kashmiri shawl vendors have claimed they were beaten up and called “stone pelters” by unidentified men on a train, forcing them to cut short their business trip to Rohtak, officials said Wednesday.
The incident comes amid reports of attacks on Kashmiri people in many parts of the country in the aftermath of the February 14 attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama that left 49 personnel dead.
“Three Kashmiri shawl vendors boarded the general compartment of a local train from Sarai Rohilla station at around 10.40 am for a business trip to Sampla in Haryana. They claimed they were pushed into a corner and called ‘stone pelters’,” said Dinesh Gupta, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways).
“When they objected, the accused allegedly abused and slapped two Kashmiri vendors. The attackers said ‘you hurl stones there (in Kashmir) and come to earning a livelihood here’. Other passengers also joined in and created a ruckus,” the DCP (Railways) said.
Thereafter, the three Kashmiri men de-boarded at Nangloi station, leaving their bags containing shawls and suits worth around Rs 2 lakh in the train, Gupta added.
A case has been registered and the matter is being probed, he said.
The three men said they came to Delhi in December last year and were staying in Sarai Rohilla. They have been coming here for business purposes for the last 10 years.
The three Kashmiri men approached Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat through their local MLA. Karat helped them file a complaint with police.
“The men claimed the attackers told them they were from the armed forces. They said ‘you are the ones who killed our men’.
“Around 15-20 other men also joined in and beat the Kashmiri men with belts. The incident took place when they were crossing Mangolpuri. One of the three Kashmiris suffered severe head injuries and another sustained wounds on face,” she said.
Police said the attackers were yet to be identified, and it was not clear if they were from the armed forces since they were in plain clothes.
Non-locals protest against attacks on Kashmiris
Srinagar, Feb 20: Dozens of non-locals workers and businessmen putting up in Kashmir Wednesday carried out a peaceful protest against the harassment and attacks meted out to Kashmiris in different parts of India.
A large number of non-locals assembled at Hari Singh High Street here and raised slogans against miscreants attacking the students and businessmen of the valley operating in other states in wake of the Lethpora bombing last week.
They demanded the safety of Kashmiri traders and students outside the valley.
A Kolkata resident, Sushant Shanti, who is running a shop at Hari Singh High Street, told The Kashmir Monitor that they have been living in Kashmir for 25 years and have never faced any threat.
“I strongly condemn the atrocities that our Kashmiri youth and traders are facing outside Kashmir,” said Shanti, adding: “I request my Hindu brothers to ensure the safety of Kashmiris there.”
Another non local shopkeeper at Hari Singh High Street, Rajinder Kumar said: “Our Kashmiri brothers and students who are pursuing education in other states are facing extreme brutality and we strongly condemn this act of cowardice.”
Kumar said that some elements are politicizing the Lethpora incident.
“Whatever happens here, we have always been treated with brotherhood and humanity,” he said.