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Ladakh division row: GoI using Guv for ‘anti-Muslim’ agenda in JK, says Mehbooba

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Feb 13: Governor Satya Pal Malik was implementing the BJP’s agenda of “dividing people to break” Muslim character of J&K, former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti alleged on Wednesday.
Referring to the recent Ladakh division status row, Mehbooba, in a presser here, warned the Government of India to desist from “playing with fire”.
“The creation a new division for Ladakh was a selective decision by the Governor who ignored the Muslim dominated Pir Panjal and Chenab valley,” Mehbooba said.
“The Central government, through its governor, is taking those decisions, which are against the people and the common sentiment of Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre has to accept that J&K is a Muslim majority state and every decision should be taken by keeping the sentiments of the community into consideration,” she added.
The PDP Chief–who by allying with rightwing BJP in 2016 paved its way into J&K’s political annals–said she had already warned the Centre about any decision of announcing “selective division” in the state.
“The people of Kargil are agitating for the last four days and people from Pirpanjal and Chenab are also crying discrimination. We had already warned the Centre that any such selective division will have serious consequences,” Mehbooba said.
She claimed that there was a Central Government’s “hand” in selecting headquarters at Leh.
“Kargil is far from Leh than Srinagar. Till 1992, the administrative units used to be on rotation in Leh and Kargil. People of Kargil are peace-loving, who now have started protesting for the last four days against this discrimination,” she said.
Mehbooba demanded rotational headquarters to be set up in Leh and Kargil on the lines of bi-annual Darbar Move in Srinagar and Jammu.
“This is a simple solution unless they have a motive to alienate the Muslim majority in the state. The headquarters should be on rotational basis in Kargil and Leh for six months each,” Mehbooba said.
She alleged a hidden agenda of the Centre to “disempower” the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir in the decision of ignoring demands of people from Kargil, Pirpanjal and Chenab valley.
“Centre is currently dividing Muslims of the state as shia- sunni, Kashmiri- Punjabi and Gujjar-Pahari, which we will never allow to happen,” she said.
The former Chief Minister said most of the decision taken during her government are being cancelled or reversed by the Centre.
“The government has entered into an agreement to share water of a river in Kathua with Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, which is our right. They are yet to compensate us for the losses met due to the Indus Water treaty,” she said.
“Similarly, decision to wave off stamp duty for women has been reversed. Rattle power project is meeting the same fate, which seven power projects met during the tenure of Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah. BJP didn’t allow us to implement forest act, which is applicable across the country,” she said.
Mehbooba criticised the state administration for failing to mitigate the suffering of the people stranded on the Srinagar- Jammu National Highway.
“I thank the people of Jammu, especially the members of the Sikh community, and people in south Kashmir for arranging langars for the passengers stranded on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. During our tenure there was no hue and cry while all such calamities were dealt speedily,” she said.
On incidents of roughing up of Kashmiri stranded passengers in Jammu, she said it was the handiwork of miscreants.
“These were miscreants from both the sides. Some of our stranded passengers started sloganeering, which led to the trouble. Jammu people are secular despite presence of many elements who try to communalism the atmosphere,” she said.
Asked about her party’s Rajya Sabha member Mohammad Fayaz Mir’s appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider returning the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru and JKLF founder Mohammad Maqbool Bhat to their respective families, Mehbooba said the PDP’s stance had not changed and their mortal remains be returned.
“Our stance has not changed. We stand by that and want that his (Guru’s) mortal remains be returned to his family,” she said.
“Mufti Sahab had resented the execution of Afzal Guru as prior to the incident, he wrote to the president of India. Similarly, after Afzal Guru’s execution a demand was put for the return of his mortal remains,” she said.


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We stand united with our soldiers: All-party resolution

No call for calm in it disappoints Omar

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New Delhi, Feb 16: All political parties of India Saturday put up a united face and expressed their “determination” to fight militancy following the Lethpora attack, underlining their solidarity with security forces for “defending the country’s unity and integrity”.
A meeting of all political parties, including the BJP and the Congress, passed a resolution condemning the attack and alleged support being given to it from across the border.
The all-party meeting took place in the aftermath of one of the biggest attacks on government forces on Thursday on the highway near Lethpora in Awantipora town, in which 49 CRPF troopers were killed.
Militant organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed the responsibility for it stating that a local recruit of its carried out the attack.
The resolution did not name Pakistan but asserted that India has been facing the “menace of cross-border terrorism” which of late, it added, is being actively encouraged by forces from across the border.
The meeting was convened by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Condemning the attack, the resolution reiterated that India has displayed firmness and resilience in tackling it.
The parties vowed to stand with the families in their hour of grief.
“…Of late, terrorism in India is being actively encouraged by forces from across the border, India has displayed firmness and resilience in dealing with these challenges. The entire nation speaks in one voice to express its determination to fight these challenges. We stand united in solidarity with our security forces in fighting terrorism, defending India’s unity and integrity,” read the resolution passed at the all-party meeting.
The meeting was attended by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’Brien of the TMC, Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena, Jithendra Reddy of the TRS, D Raja of the CPI, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, Ram Vilas Paswan of the LJP among others.
Naresh Gujral of the Akali Dal, Upendra Kushwaha of the RLSP and Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav are among others who attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed his displeasure with the resolution.
Taking to social networking site Twitter, Omar wrote: “Disappointed the resolution did not include a call for calm. Reports of violence in Jammu & tension in university/college campuses in some states, I would have expected an appeal for calm to have gone with the condemnation & condolences.”

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Army officer killed in IED blast along Rajouri LoC

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Srinagar, Feb 16: An army officer was killed and a soldier suffered injuries on Saturday while defusing and an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on Line of Control in Rajouri.

The Major-rank officer was defusing the IED which had been allegedly planted by militants. The officer is from the Corps of Engineers.

The blast killed the officer and injured a soldier who was evacuated to hospital, officials said.

 

The IED was planted 1.5 km inside the Line of Control in the Naushera sector of Rajouri district.

The army has confirmed that it was an IED blast and not a BAT action.

The IED blast came two days after 49 CRPF personnel were killed when a Jaish attacker rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus carrying them in Pulwama district in south Kashmir.

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Militants can’t hide, will be punished: PM

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Yavatmal (Maha), Feb 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that militant groups who carried out the Pulwama attack that left 49 CRPF troopers dead, could not hide and “will be punished” as the government forces have been given a “free hand” to tackle the inevitable.
Paying tributes to two Central Reserve Police Force troopers from Maharashtra and others killed in the deadly attack on Thursday, Modi said the country had “faith and pride in our soldiers and security forces and their sacrifices would not go in vain.”
“Wherever the militant groups and perpetrators may hide, our forces will flush them out and punish them,” Modi said amidst cheers from the gathering of farmers and women here.
“When and how to accomplish this had been left to the security forces,” he said, appealing to the people of the country to be “patient” and repose confidence in the armed forces, “as the militant perpetrators shall not be spared at any cost”, he added.

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