Srinagar, May 08: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed forces to deal carefully with the situation in Kashmir, especially during anti-militancy operations and protests to avert civilian killings and collateral damage.
However sources said that the MHA has made it clear to the security forces not to hesitate to take strict action against those who create law and order problem and pose threat to anti militancy operations.
One of the top officials of the MHA insisted not to be named told KNS that the top police and other security officials have been directed to ensure that the forces at the site of encounters and protests, handle the situation very carefully to avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage. “All security agencies have to strictly adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) formulated for anti-militancy operations and dealing with protests,” the MHA has directed.
Sources said that the MHA has been informed by the top brass of the security forces in JK that it was unprecedented situation in Shopian where thousands of people assembled at the encounter site and pelted stones on the security forces who had engaged a group of militants in an encounter.
Sources said that the MHA was concerned over the presence of civilians at the encounter sites despite being repeatedly asked not to do so.
However, sources said that the MHA was satisfied with number of killings of the militants by security forces and thwarting of infiltration attempts by the troops along the LoC.
Meanwhile sources told KNS that top officials of the MHA, dealing with security related issues of Jammu and Kashmir has received reports that some elements are regularly fuming trouble in parts of the valley. “After analyzing the reports the ministry has asked the security forces to identify them and take strict action,” sources in the MHA informed.
Sources said that MHA was watching Kashmir situation very closely and have gathered all information of security situation prevailing in Valley from the officers of police, CRPF and other agencies.
Sources said that top security officers were asked to give their views on the ground situation, especially the security situation in Kashmir including counter-insurgency operations and infiltrations from across the border.
Sources said that after analyzing the information, the MHA believes that the role of some instigators could be the major reason for stone-pelting incidents occurring in a synchronized manner in the parts of the valley especially in south Kashmir.
Pertinent to mention here that at the insistence of the MHA, the state government had announced amnesty scheme on November 23, 2017, to bail out the first-time stone-pelters.
More than 3,650 youths had benefited from the initiative to lead a normal life showing Centre’s resolve to scale down tough stand towards locals in tackling militancy
According to state government’s statistics, over 9,000 juveniles were likely to be covered under this initiative
Meanwhile sources said that police has taken a cognizance of the stone pelting incidents especially one in Narbal area in which a tourist from Chennai was killed and five others were injured. “We are identifying the people who are involved or are behind in regular stone pelting incidents,” one of the top police officials said and added that after identification strict action under the law will be taken. (KNS)
In 3 yrs, GoI paid Rs 12 lakh rent for over 30K kanals under ‘defence’ in Srinagar
MoS Defence says ‘only 47 kanals’ held by defence establishments in Shopian
New Delhi, Jul 17: The Defence Ministry Wednesday made an interesting disclosure while giving out the figures about the total acres of land held by various defence establishments in J&K.
In a written reply to the question posed in the Lok Sabha by National Conference’s MP Hasnain Masoodi, MoS Defence Shripad Naik said that 56,615.54 acres (4.53 lakh kanals) of land was with different defence wings and organisations operational in J&K.
Giving a district-wise breakup, the reply stated that 3757.8 acres (over 30,000 kanals) of land was held by defence establishments in Srinagar.
Interestingly, for the huge area occupied in the summer capital, only Rs 12.17 lakh has been paid in rent during the last three years while Rs 2.02 lakh is shown outstanding.
The Defence Ministry figures show the district getting a rent of Rs 4.05 lakh per year from 2016-17 to 2018-19.
More shocking is the case of Shopian, one of the most heavily guarded districts in south of Kashmir with a huge security buildup.
In the district, the Defence Ministry reply claims only 5.94 acres (47 kanals) of land is under defence establishments for which Rs 79,203 of rent has been paid for the last three years while as Rs 13,200 is outstanding.
In districts Leh and Kargil, 5788 acres of land (46,000 kanal), as per the reply, is under defence establishments and the rent paid and outstanding is Rs 5.66 crore and Rs 77.42 lakh respectively.
The most land held by defence establishments is in Jammu district. As per the reply, 18935.4 acres of land is under defence in the district for which Rs 42.13 crore has been paid in rent for years 2016-17 to 2018-19, while Rs 7.65 crore is still outstanding.
Overall in the state, Rs 134.45 crore had been paid in rent to land owners and the state government in the last three years. Rs 24.48 crore is shown as outstanding rent during the period.
Anganwadi workers, helpers continue protests against SAC decision
Srinagar, Jul 17 : The Anganwadi workers and helpers working under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme continued their protests against the State Administrative Council’s (SAC) decision to disburse their honorariums through Gram Panchayats.
Hundreds of workers under the banner of All Jammu and Kashmir Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Association, raising slogans against the SAC decision demanded its immediate roll-back. They said disbursing honorarium through Gram Panchayats can pave way for corruption and harassment of the workers and helpers.
“We not only demand roll back of this arbitrary decision but also making the ICDS permanent and increase in budgetary allocation for the ICDS. The government must also pay minimum wages, social security and pension to us as recommended by 45th ILC,” the protesting workers demanded.
They said that they will fight against the government move to privatize the ICDS in any form and involvement of corporate companies or NGOs in the ICDS. “We also demand strengthening of ICDS, converting Anganwadis into Anganwadi-cum-crèches, increase in allocation for nutrition and strengthening and retaining the pre-schoold education in ICDS,” the workers demanded.
The protesters said the supervision of Anganwari centers are done by the ICDS department and they don’t object the Coordination with Panchayati Raj Institutions in running the Anganwari centers.
“But the panchayats must provide resources to the Anganwari centre like it is being done in Kerala, where they provide additional food, milk, eggs toys, uniforms etc for children. But here, instead of following that model, only monitoring part has been given to panchayats. The salary to the Anganwari staff will be released only after the certification of the panchayats which can lead to corruption and harassment of the workers and helpers. This was tried in many states and the decision was taken back there after it failed,” they said.
The protesting workers said, “If the panchayats have to monitor why don’t they monitor all services and link the salary of all government employees to panchayat certification? We have been handed over to Panchs and Sarpanchs which is unacceptable to us. We are working with the ICDS for the last 40- years with honor and dignity. We want our department to take care of our salaries. The decision was aimed to humiliate us.” “We have worked for the State, but it is unfortunate that we are being neglected by the government now.” The protest rally was addressed by Haneefa, Lateefa, Misra, Mubeena, Hajira, Zona, Haleema, Daisy and Meema, Aganwadi leaders.
PDP holds crucial meeting of its south Kashmir leadership
Srinagar, Jul 17: A high level meeting of the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) leadership from south Kashmir was held at the party head office here in which various crucial issues confronting the state at present was discussed in detail.
Chaired by Party Vice President Abdul Rahman Veeri, the meeting deliberated over various measures that the party has taken in the recent past to widen its reach and make masses aware about its agenda and mission.
Veeri in his address stressed upon the leadership to hold constant contact with the general public and highlight the issues they face on day to day basis and seek their resolution on priority from the concerned quarters.
Veeri expressed full confidence that the PDP will bounce back in a revitalised form on the state’s political scene and that the party will continue to push for peace with dignity which is the focal point of its agenda. He said that the workers are committed to the agenda of the party and the vision provided by its founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who founded the party in the very trying circumstances.
PDP General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura while addressing the meeting stated that the party will continue to pursue it till durable peace is restored and that will never barter interests of the state against petty political gains.
Veteran PDP leader, Mohammad Sartaj Madni in his address stated that the need of the hour is that the party leadership, functionaries, activists and supporters must work in close coordination and make sustainable efforts in party’s overall growth and impressive performance in the coming time.
The participants of the meeting expressed full confidence in the leadership of the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, resolving in unison to support her each and every endeavour aimed at getting the people out of the cycle of uncertainty and lead the state towards a prosperous future.
Other senior PDP leaders who attended the meet include Dr Mehboob Beg, PDP’s Srinagar District President Mohammad Khurshid Alam, former legislator and state secretary Noor Mohammad Sheikh, Abdul Ghaffar Sofi, Abdul Rahim Rather, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Yousuf Bhat, Abdul Majeed Padder, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, Zaffar A Manhas, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Syed Farooq Andrabi, Syed Javaid Advocate, Gulzar Ahmad, Abdul Razaq and Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Sheikh.