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Mattu elected Srinagar Mayor, Imran his deputy

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 6: Former National Conference leader Junaid Mattu was on Tuesday elected Mayor of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).

Mattu had filed his nomination papers for election to the post as candidate of the Peoples’ Conference.

The counting for the election of Mayor began in the morning.

 

Mattu managed to get 40 votes while as Congress’ candidate got 26. Four votes were declared invalid.

Mattu had contested the polls from ward No 14, 18 and 65 of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation.

Congress backed independent candidate Sheikh Imran was elected Deputy Mayor.

He got 35 votes while his nearest rival Saleem Lone, an independent, got 34 votes, while one vote got rejected.

After the results were announced, Mattu addressed the media, and said that he would work for the development of Srinagar.

“I will work for the dignity and security of Srinagar. I will turn Srinagar into a model city,” he said.

Asked that BJP had supported him for the Mayor, he replied, “Mehbooba Mufti was also heading the PDP-BJP government and was nothing wrong in it. Now I got their support and political parties have the problem. It is the people decide whom to get elected.”

Mattu, who was a member of the Peoples Conference before he joined the National Conference (NC) and remained its spokesman for many years. In the run-up to the Municipal Polls, he quit the party and contested independently from four wards in Srinagar. He lost at one ward and won from three other wards in a low polled election.

Mattu has joined Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference after quitting the NC.

The Congress state chief had said that Mayoral election is a contest between “secularism and communalism”.

After the results, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Ram Madhav congratulated Mattu for being elected as the Mayor of SMC.

He took to his  Twitter handle to congratulate Mattu and Sajad Gani Lone over the SMC post.

“Junaid Mattoo, independent supported by Sajjad Lone’s People’s Conference and BJP has won d Mayor post of Srinagar. He polled against d combined candidate of PDP, NC and Congress by 40 votes to 26 votes. Congrats Junaid and Sajjad n all Corporators,” Madhav wrote.

Mattu will have the powers to access to the record of the Corporation and issue directions to the Commissioner or other functionaries of the Corporation or call for reports from them with a view to ensuring proper implementation of the decision of the Corporation.

The Mayor shall have such powers as may be necessary to carry out the purposes to implement the decisions of the Corporation.

The Mayor shall be the ex-officio member and also the Chairman of the General Functions Committee and the Deputy Mayor shall be the ex-officio member and Chairman of the Finance and Planning Committee.

When the office of the Mayor is vacant, the Deputy Mayor shall act as the Mayor until a new Mayor is elected.

However, Mattu’s election as Mayor of the SMC has been clouded by remarks of Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik during an interview to a private TV channel last month.

Malik had, without naming Mattu, said Srinagar was getting “foreign educated mayor” which would send jitters among the regional parties such as the NC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which did not take part in the elections.

The political parties had said the Governor’s remarks had put question mark on the whole election process.

The NC and the PDP boycotted the election over the issue of Article 35-A, which according special powers to the state legislature with regard to permanent residents of the state.


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Home Minister holds high-level security meet at Srinagar

Take all preventive measures to ensure peaceful Yatra: Shah tells security forces

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Jun 26: Union Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday directed the security agencies to be fully alert and take all preventive steps to ensure the violence-free Amarnath Yatra.

On the first day of his two day visit to Kashmir, Shah chaired a high level meeting to review the security arrangements for the forthcoming Amarnathji Yatra at SKICC.

The meeting was attended by Governor Satya Pal Malik, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Union Special Secretary Home, (Internal Security), AP Maheshwari, J&K Chief Secretary BVR Subramanium, GOC Northern Command Lt General Ranbir Singh, heads of CAPFs and central agencies, senior army commanders, State Home Secretary Shaleen Kabra and other functionaries of the state government.

 

Addressing the press conference after the meeting, Union Special Secretary Home, (Internal Security), AP Maheshwari said that Shah laid emphasis on various points critical for the security of the Yatra.

“He directed all security agencies to be fully alert and take all preventive steps to ensure violence free Yatra,” he said.

Quoting Union Home Minister, he said: “There should be no laxity.  Strict enforcement of the SOPs should be ensured.  Senior officers should personally supervise the arrangements. Forces should ensure best possible optimum use of latest technologies and the gadgets not only for the security of the Yatra but also to facilitate the movement of the devotees and the tourists”

 He said Shah specifically drew attention of the Forces towards anti-sabotage as well as anti-subversion drills and the access control procedures.

 Union Special Secretary said that Home Minister underlined the importance of standard operating procedures for smooth convoy movement.  

“Timely dispatch of convoys should be ensured. After the cut-off timings barricades should be erected at suitable locations and no differentiation should be made between Yatris and Tourists. Barricades should be used at all lateral entry points during convoy movement. All lateral points should be manned 24×7,” he quoted Shah having told the security agencies.

Besides attending to medical emergency, the Home Minister has directed that preparedness must also be ensured to deal with any type of calamity or contingency. 

“Specialized units and trained personnel should be in place with due focus on the prescribed drills for the purpose. Best possible facilities should be provided in the base camps,” said the Home Minister.

While laying emphasis on the essential facilities for those deputed on the arrangements of the Yatra, he underscored the need for all the duty personnel to ensure proper conduct all throughout.

 “There should be no complacency on part of security forces or duty staff at any point of time during whole Yatra period. Whereas he advised all the security forces and various agencies to continue taking strict action against miscreants, Minister also reiterated the need to cover all the sensitive and vulnerable places including possible points of infiltration all throughout the State, in order to obviate any type of risk to the Yatra,” Shah told the security agencies.

Appreciating the whole-hearted cooperation of the people of the State in successful conduct of the Yatra, the minister reassured the commitment towards best possible arrangements. 

Reviews various development schemes, projects

Monitor News Bureau

Srinagar, Jun 26: During his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah took a detailed review of various development schemes and projects in the State.

The review meeting in Srinagar was attended by the Governor, Union Home Secretary, all the four Advisors, Chief Secretary and Senior officials of the State and Central Government.

The development review meeting focused on accelerating development, building infrastructure, good governance, inclusive growth for all communities, employment generating scheme for the youth to name a few.

Home Minister asked the State Government to ensure that poorest of the poor of Jammu and Kashmir should get the benefits of Good Governance in all spheres. He gave the following directions:

The State Public Service Delivery Act should be strictly enforced. Wide publicity should be given to the services already covered under the Act and more services should be brought under its ambit.

Newly established Anti-Corruption Bureau should be strengthened. Cases of rampant corruption by the High and Mighty should be taken up on priority for fast track investigations.

State Officers should be fully be sensitive towards:

Balanced development of all the three regions, – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

Inclusive approach towards all communities; no community should feel neglected eg. Border Population, Migrants, SCs/STs, Socially and Educationally backward classes, Residents of Backward areas and economically weaker sections of the society.

The Public hearing programmes should be supervised by the Advisors, Secretaries and Collectors. A regular time should be fixed for public hearings at all levels, – Village, Tehsil, Sub Division, Division, District  and Secretariat. Public Grievances should be disposed off in a time bound manner.

Investments for generating large scale employment opportunities for the local youth should be facilitated. Renowned educational and health institutions should also be motivated to establish their Institutions in the State.

All vacancies in the State Government should be filled up in a time bound manner.

Demonstrative improvements should be achieved in all the Major flagship programmes of the Central Government such as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Himayat, Ayushman Bharat, Swach Bharat Mission, Smart Cities Mission, Saubhagya, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, PM’s Jan Dhan Yojana etc.

All the major development projects announced by the Prime Minister should be completed in a time bound manner. Out of Rs. 80,068 crores, 82% funds have already been sanctioned for 63 projects. Major projects include 2 AIIMS, 2 IIMs, IIT, Ring Roads in Jammu and Srinagar, widening and strengthening of national highways, tourism, health and power projects etc.

Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah also said that he would regularly review the performance achieved in all the development projects.

Northern Army commander reviews security arrangement for Yatra

Srinagar, Jun 26: Northern Army Commander, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh on Wednesday visited units deployed for security of Amarnath Yatra and reviewed the security arrangements on the axis of Baltal and Pahalgam ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir.

Lt Gen Singh was briefed by commanders on the ground of sound coordination and synergy between all agencies of the government and measures being taken to ensure safety and security of pilgrims.

Home Minister Amit Shah arrived in Srinagar on Wednesday afternoon to review the overall security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the security arrangements for the Amarnath Yatra in particular.

According to sources in Ministry of Home Affairs, over 1.10 lakh pilgrims have registered themselves for the 46-day-long annual Amarnath Yatra which will begin on July 1 and conclude on August 15.

Reports of Hurriyat leaders ready for talks a conjecture: Farooq 

Srinagar, Jun 26: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and member parliament Dr  Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday downplayed reports of Hurriyat leaders being ready for talks with Union government, saying it is all a ‘conjecture’.

“As the governor has mentioned a few days back that the Hurriyat leaders are ready for talks with the Central government, it is a conjecture. They haven’t issued any statement so far,” news agency  quoted Dr Farooq as having said.

While asserting that the meeting should be held, he said, “I hope they talk about it and get into a solution as soon as possible.”

Earlier, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday said Hurriyat Conference leaders are ready for talks with Centre.

“You must have seen that the Hurriyat, which once shut the door on Ram Vilas Paswan when he came knocking, are now ready for talks. This is an encouraging sign,” said Malik.

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Stone pelting incidents declined in Kashmir: MHA

Agencies

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Srinagar, Jun 26: The stone pelting incidents have declined in 2019 so far, compared to the number of incidents during the corresponding period last year in Kashmir, Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy said in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

According to the PIB: “Pursuant to the Government policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism, the State Government has taken stringent action to deal with stone pelting, including identification and arrest of stone pelters and instigators of such acts under relevant laws”.

It also reported that the number of incidents of stone pelting and arrests made in the state of Jammu and Kashmir during the last three years has declined.

 

In year 2016, 2,653 stone pelting incidents were reported, during which 10,571 youth were arrested and 276 persons were sent to jail.

Similarly, in the year 2017, 1412 stone pelting incidents were reported and 2,838 youth were arrested, 63 youth were sent to jail.

In 2018; 1,458 stone pelting cases were reported so far. 3,797 youth were arrested in these incidents and 65 have been sent to jail.

 “The Government has also constituted a Joint Monitoring Committee involving all concerned agencies at the central level and a Multi-Disciplinary Terror Monitoring Group (TMG) at the State level for sustained action against terror funding,” PIB reported.

Rules out intelligence failure in Feb 14 Pulwama attack

Agencies

New Delhi, Jun 26:  G. Kishan Reddy, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs said there was no intelligence failure in the Pulwama attack, on Wednesday in Parliament.

On being asked whether the reasons of Pulwama terror attack was a failure of intelligence, Reddy in Lok Sabha replied, “Jammu and Kashmir are affected by militancy sponsored and supported from across the border for the last three decades.

However, owing to the policy of zero tolerance towards militancy and sustained action against the militants by the security forces, a large number of militants have been neutralized during the past few years.”

He further added, “All agencies are working in a coordinated manner and the intelligence inputs are shared among various agencies on a real-time basis. The investigation by NIA into the Pulwama attack so far has resulted in identifying the conspirators, suicide attacker and the vehicle provider.”

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If Patel was made first PM, Kashmir issue wouldn’t have existed: Modi

Agencies

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New Delhi, Jun 26:  Prime Minister Naredra Modi on Wednesday attacked the Congress by saying that if Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was made the first Prime Minister of the country, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir would have been resolved.

Taking a potshot at the Congress for remembering Patel only during the Gujarat Assembly elections, Modi said the grand old party forgot to mention the late leader during the Lok Sabha polls.

Addressing the Rajya Sabha as part the motion of thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to the Parliament, Modi said: “We think that if Sardar Saheb (Vallabhbhai Patel) was made the first Prime Minister of India, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir would have been resolved.”

 

Modi further said even the problems existing in the villages today would have been resolved had Patel been made the first Prime Minister.

“Sardar Patel was a true Congressman. He was made the first Home Minister of the country. But I am surprised as the Congress remembers him only during the Gujarat elections when his pictures become visible in the party’s posters. But during the Lok Sabha elections, his photographs are not seen in any of the party’s posters,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also asked the top Congress leadership to pay tribute to Patel by visiting the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.

“I request the one top leader of the Congress to visit the Statue of Unity, which we built in Gujarat as a mark of respect to Sardar Patel. I also request Ghulam Nabi Azad to spend a few days in Gujarat,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister then took a jibe at Azad, saying that he had a blurred vision. “I think Ghulam Nabi Azadji is having a blurred vision… May be he is seeing everything through political glasses. Ghalib said something for such people — ‘ta umr Ghalib ye bhool karta raha, dhool chehre pe thi, aaina saaf karta raha’,” Modi said.

Attacking the Congress for demanding ‘old India’, Modi said, “Congress wants its old India where the decision of a Cabinet was torn by a leader in a press conference, where an Indian Naval Ship was used as a personal taxi, where scams were visible everywhere. But the people are not ready to accept the old India.”

Modi was referring to the Azad’s remarks made in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. In his motion of thanks on the President’s addresss, Azad had said the Congress wanted the old India which had love, affection and culture and where a human being was not afraid of another human being.

It may be mentioned here that in 2013, then Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had torn a Cabinet decision on bringing an ordinance to protect convicted MPs and MLAs while addressing a press conference. And in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, Modi had alleged that the late Rajiv Gandhi used aircraft carrier INS Virat as a ‘personal taxi’ to ferry his family members.

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