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NC protests against civilian killings

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Srinagar, Dec 16:Jammu & Kashmir National Conference on Sunday held a peaceful protest rally against the civilian killings in Pulwama and demanded that those responsible for the killings be identified and arrested.

Scores of National Conference workers led by party District President and Ex MLA Ganderbal, Sheikh Ishfaq Jabbar took out a protest rally from party headquarters Ganderbal to Beehama Chowk seeking an end to unabated civilian killings, maiming and human rights violations in the Valley.

Addressing the rally, Sheikh Ishfaq said that the mayhem that was unleashed at Pulwama the other day and the episodes like it don’t augment well for the peace to return to valley. “New Delhi is irresolute about the gravity of situation and if the current phenomenon of uncertainty persists it can morph in a much dire situation,” he said.

 

Ishfaq expressed grief and sorrow over the civilian killings and said that young in Kashmir have become an easy fodder for those who have made this conflict a business. “The attitude of GOI towards our state hasn’t changed. The iron fist strategy must end and should be replaced with people centric CBMs. The key to end these killings lies with New Delhi,” he said.

“For how long the blood of civilians will continue to flow in Kashmir? We have been reiterating that there is no military solution to address this issue except to imitate a credible process of structured dialogue. Unfortunately, political leadership that is running the country is not responding to this worsening situation. Instead they continue to look at Kashmir through the prism of security. It’s time that a result oriented political process is initiated without any delay,” he said.

The party workers shouted slogans against the government for its failure in putting a stop to civilian killings in the Valley.


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Kashmir

Pakistan militant held, vehicle siezed in Pattan

Global News Service

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Srinagar, April 22: A Pakistani millitant and a driver were arrested by government forces at Chainabal area of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday.

Official sources told GNS that a joint team of Army’s 29, SOG and CRPF stop a Mahindra car (DL 12 CA 4189). During searches the joint team apprehended two persons boarding the vehicle including the militant and the driver.

The vehicle has also been seized while as the Pakistani militant identified as Aqib alias Chota Dujana and driver namely Tafazul of Srinagar were taken to Police Station Pattan for further questioning.

 

A police officer also confirmed the incident to GNS but declined to commit further.

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Traders protest in Srinagar against suspension of cross-LoC trade

Firdous Hassan

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Photo: Umar Ganie

Srinagar Apr 22: Traders affected by the suspension of cross-LoC trade by the Centre held a protest march in Srinagar on Monday.

Scores of traders engaged in cross-LoC trade on the Uri-Muzaffarabad route demanded revocation of the suspension order, and sought a fool-proof mechanism for smooth operations.

The traders claimed that suspension of the trade had cost them losses over crores of rupees as their goods were either in transit or lying in godowns.

 

President, LoC traders Association Tanveer Ahmad Wani claimed each trader had a huge liability in the form of loans from banks and pending stocks at home.

He demanded the resuming of the trade in order to avoid their losses ahead. “The wholesale dealers have started asking for payments as they realized that the trade has been closed indefinitely. We are in a very difficult situation as our entire tradable items, which mostly includes fruits have not arrived at trade facilitation center in Uri, which we could sell to earn livelihood,” he said.

Wani informed a delegation of the LoC traders met Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Monday adding they are planning to visit MHA office in New Delhi in coming week with their grievances.

“We have no choice other than to commit suicide. It is not only concerning traders but transporters and labourers who have been associated with this trade for the last 10 years,” he said.

Another trader Tanveer Ahmad Mir, who runs business in the name of Kako importers and exporters, said the LoC trade suspension has involved his rupees four crores alone.

 “The transaction, which is based on barter system has not happened yet. I am worried about the pending payment for the month to my dealers. Presently stock of stocks of embroidery suits and other items are lying in my store,” he said.

Mir said the government should have intimidated them ahead of announcing this decision to avoid their losses.

“The work regarding installation of full body scanner is going on. Other facilities have also been set up to ensure transparency. The government should continue the trade besides installing advanced mechanism ahead,” he said.

Mohammad Haneef, a 28 years old postgraduate who has been working as a labourer for the last eight years at Trade Facilitation Centre is equally worried with the suspension of the trade.

He said many like him joined as labourers after finding no employment opportunities in the government sector despite an academic qualifications.

“This was the only means to earn bread for our families, which too has been snatched now. There are no good avenues of employment in Uri and we fear our families will have to starve ahead,” he said.

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Time to review Article 370, 35A in J&K: Rajnath Singh

Press Trust of India

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Jaipur Apr 22: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said India’s stand against militancy has been weakened on several occasions by the Congress party.

Addressing a press conference here, Singh said, “They (Congress) have given a new theory of Hindu militancy. There is no religion or caste of militancy. Their new theory weakened India’s stand against militancy.”

He said repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was another such case which undermined India’s stand.

 

“In 2004, India had an agreement with Pakistan in which its former army chief had assured that the country will not provide shelter and allow militancy to flourish on its soil, but Congress tried weakening India’s stand, saying Pakistan was also a victim of militancy,” he said.

The home minister said the opposition was doing politics over issues which should not be politicised.

Instead of praising the defence forces after the airstrike in Balakot of Pakistan, the opposition parties questioned it with queries on number of militants killed, he said.

“When such types of questions are asked, it weakens India’s stand against militancy,” he said.

Speaking on the Congress’ election manifesto promising to scrap the sedition law, Singh said the law should be further strengthened but it should not be misused.

Talking about Articles 370 and 35A for Jammu and Kashmir, he said it was a temporary arrangement and it was time to review it.

“How much the entitlement benefitted Jammu and Kashmir? When a few people are raising questions there should be two prime ministers in the country then what is the significance of Article 370 and 35A,” Singh asked.

He exuded confidence that the first two phases of Lok Sabha elections reflected a wave in favour of the BJP, and there was no doubt the party will get a clear majority and possibly the NDA will achieve 3/4th majority.

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