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NC delegation meets Guv, demands end to HR violations

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Srinagar, Oct 12: National Conference delegation led by party General Secretary Haji Ali Mohammad Sagar called on Governor SP Malik at the Raj Bhavan here on Friday and discussed the existing appalling security situation, unbridled human right violations and mounting anger of the youth.
The delegation comprised former ministers and senior leaders Abdul Rahim Rather, Chowdary Muhammad Ramzan, Sakina Itoo and Saifullah Mir.
In an hour long interaction with the governor, the delegation reiterated party’s concern over the unabated human rights violations across the valley.
“Despite repeated assurances coming from the state and central government the human right violations continue to happen every other day. People have now lost faith over such assurances resulting in large scale disenchantment among all sections of the society particularly the youth,” the delegation said.
Urging the governor to initiate a conciliatory process with the alienated educated youth to instill a sense of security in them, the general secretary said, “A sharp rise in militancy in Kashmir over the last four years is a direct consequence of the alarming level of alienation in Kashmir witnessed during PDP-BJP combine We are concerned about Catch and Kill Policy where youngsters are not given a chance to return back to mainstream. Such acts add to the alienation and anguish on the ground and need to be stopped.”
National Conference has been of the consistent opinion that J&K issue is political in nature and deserves a sustained, holistic and comprehensive political engagement with all the stakeholders.
“The recent minimal poll percentage across the valley has proved beyond doubt that holding ULB elections was not the right decision in the backdrop of central governments confusing stand on states special status,” he said.
The general secretary said, “We have always respected the governor’s office and will continue to do so. We have a record of working in unison with successive governors of the state and therefore we in our party vouch for an affable connection with the Governor’s office. Keeping up with our values, our leadership welcomed and looked forward to work with the new governor to bring everlasting peace to the ailing and bruised state of Jammu & Kashmir.”
Reiterating that National Conference has always promoted progressive, secular and democratic values in the state, the delegation said, “The institutions that we cherish today have been nurtured by our party over a period of time. It pains us to see when such institutions are being fiddled with politically.”
Expressing concern over the undue praise of certain political outfits by governor Sagar said, “This is highly unbecoming of the governor’s office to praise some parties and ridicule others. The PDP-BJP combine has ruined the state after taking over in 2015. Their only achievement is disenchantment towards mainstream politics which has seeped into the psyche of Kashmiris particularly the youth.”
“We appreciate the way Mr Malik has unequivocally underscored the role played by New Delhi in pushing the Jammu and Kashmir to wall and we expected that a conciliatory process will start which will impress at the helm of affairs in New Delhi to initiate some CBMs but to our dismay that has not happened.”
“What was more disturbing is utter silence of the governor’s office on the barbaric killing of two of our colleagues in Habba kadal area days before ULB polls. We anticipated a strong condemnation from the governor’s office on the killings,” he said.
The delegation implored upon the governor the duress the people of valley are going through owing to the iron fist strategy employed by the government to contain the situation.
The delegation said that the governor took note of their assessment of the situation and assured them that he had already ordered the concerned to show maximum restraint while dealing with the situation.


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New party in the offing: Faesal wants public money for ‘clean politics’

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Srinagar, Jan 23: Former IAS officer Shah Faesal Wednesday launched a crowd-funding campaign for “clean politics and corruption-free administration” in Jammu and Kashmir hinting towards his plans to float his own political party.

The 2010-batch topper of the UPSC civil services exam said it was a “people’s movement for change”.
“Be a part of this journey for clean politics and corruption-free administration in J&K. Support Shah Faesal with your small donations,” he tweeted.

Faesal, who resigned from government service earlier this month, gave a bank account number for contributions and said payments could also be made through e-wallet.

 

Taking to a social networking site Facebook, Faesal wrote: “I had never imagined that my small act of defiance to highlight political deadlock in Jammu and Kashmir would evoke such a response across the world.”

He added that he had never thought that his “dream of clean politics and corruption-free administration” in J&K would take the shape of a “public movement”. “Respecting the public sentiment, I have decided to chart my independent political journey. And now in this new phase of public service, my mission is to support the true cause of humanity, stand up for the poor, marginalized and dispossessed and speak up for injustices, wherever in this world, irrespective of caste, colour, region, and religion,” he wrote.

Faesal said he imagined a politics where youth can “lead the change and take charge of their future”.“I wish to partner with a new generation of young leaders who can stand up for human rights, environment, free speech and rule of law. My idea is to seek help from the people of India, build alliances with the Indian civil society and intellectual class to humanize the narrative around Kashmir conflict so that lasting peace can be achieved in J&K State.”

He added that his “mission” was to “truthfully represent aspirations, culture, fears, and dreams” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, across the world.“I wish to facilitate dialogue between people of various regions of the State – Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Pir Panchal, and Chenab Valley so that an environment of amity and brotherhood can be built. I believe that development and dignity must go together, and we have to work together for giving a sense of security, better education, healthcare, livelihoods, electricity and other civic amenities to people of J&K State.”

“This is a people’s movement and it will be funded by the people. People are the only agencies who will help this succeed. Believe in me, be patient with me in this long and difficult journey and donate for this cause,” he wrote.

Earlier Faesal had resigned dubbing it as protest against “unabated killings in Kashmir, and lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union government; the marginalisation and invisiblisation of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens; insidious attacks on the special identity of J&K and growing culture of intolerance and hate in mainland India in the name of hypernationalism”.
While he has made it clear that he would like to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Faesal has not joined any political party so far. Speculation is rife that he might float a new political outfit.

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Priyanka Gandhi debuts in active politics: Mehbooba dubs her ‘X factor of 2019 polls’

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New Delhi, Jan 23: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the sister of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, has finally taken the plunge into politics, just months ahead of the national election due by May.
Often dubbed the “Brahmastra” or the mythical ultimate weapon of the Congress, Priyanka will debut as the party’s general secretary in charge of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, which pitches her against the ruling BJP’s top two mascots, Prime Minister Narendra Modi–whose constituency Varanasi will be in her share–and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“I have not sent Priyanka and Jyotiraditya for just two months. I have sent them to take the Congress’ ideology forward in Uttar Pradesh,” Rahul Gandhi told reporters.
Among many noted personalities congratulating Priyanka was former J&K Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, who tweeted: “Welcome Priyanka Gandhi to the rough and tumble of politics. She brings with her the grace of Gandhi Nehru lineage and her immense personal charm. Wish her the best. Could she become the Xfactor of 2019 poll battle?”
47-year-old Priyanka, who reminds many of her grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, for both her charisma and the stunning likeness, is seen as a natural in politics but she has confined herself to the constituencies of her brother Rahul and mother Sonia Gandhi–Amethi and Raebareli–till now.
In national and state elections since 2004, the mother-of-two has campaigned exhaustively in the family seats where the Gandhis enjoy almost royal status.
Reports say her appointment to a key position reflects the Congress’s realisation that in a politically vital state like Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 parliamentary seats and is considered the route to power at the centre, the party needs to up its game and cannot afford just one in-charge. It is a huge gamble for the Congress, a sign that the party is all for aggressively taking on PM Modi and the BJP in the coming election.
The Congress dropped the Priyanka bombshell in the third para of a press statement that also announced that Jyotiraditya Scindia will be in charge of western UP. The giant announcement came as Rahul Gandhi began a two-day visit to Amethi. Priyanka Gandhi is in New York and is expected to return on February 1.
Congress leaders say Priyanka Gandhi’s arrival in party politics will galvanise the ranks that have been demoralised by the Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav move to form an alliance in UP for the national election without the Congress, which has been pitching for a grand opposition alliance to take on the BJP.
Rahul Gandhi commented that the BJP was “panicking”.
The ruling party has been repeatedly targeting Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra, a businessman being investigated for allegedly corrupt land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan. Robert Vadra congratulated his wife in a Facebook post: “Congratulations P… always by your side in every phase of your life.”
In national and state elections since 2004, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has campaigned in the family seats where the Gandhis enjoy almost royal status.
Priyanka Gandhi was always active in decision-making and played a key role in the alliance with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election. She also reportedly oversaw the party meeting in which her older brother was crowned Congress president.
The BJP shrugged off the Congress announcement. “Rahul Gandhi failed so they need Priyanka as a crutch. Can’t they find anyone beyond that family?” sneered BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.

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Srinagar-Jammu Highway still closed

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Jammu, Jan 23: A massive snow-clearance operation was underway to restore the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar Highway which remained closed for vehicular traffic for the third consecutive day Wednesday, officials said.
The snow clearance operation on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel–the gateway to Kashmir–was started and the snow-clearance operation is going on in full swing, said Deputy Superintendent of Police, Traffic Highway, Pardeep Singh Sen.
An avalanche had also struck the Jawahar Tunnel area on Tuesday, blocking both tubes on Qazigund side.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which maintains the Jawahar tunnel stretch of the highway, pressed its men and machines to clear the road of the accumulated snow on Tuesday, Sen said.
“We are expecting the highway to be open for traffic by late afternoon. However, only the stranded vehicles will be allowed to move on the highway once we get the green signal,” he said.
Hundreds of vehicles, mostly trucks, are stranded at various places along the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, officials said.
They said the road from Banihal, which recorded over two and a half feet of snow, to Jawahar tunnel was also being cleared, while the Banihal-Ramban stretch is almost clear after agencies concerned removed minor landslides and stones which came down at different places due to incessant rains.
After three-day long wet spell across Kashmir, the weather showed improvement with local meteorological department forecasting dry weather till January 29.
The three-day-long wet spell ended across the Valley today. The MeT department had predicted improvement in the weather conditions from Tuesday evening.
The local Meteorological department said that there is no forecast of rain or snowfall across the Valley till January 29 here, saying that the weather would remain cloudy on Jan 25.

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