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NC wants probe in utilization of funds for Jhelum dredging

Says PDP-BJP culpable for scams, mis-governance

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Anantnag, July 2: National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah Monday said the PDP-BJP led successive Governments were “culpable for massive scams and rampant mis-governance” over the past three and a half years besides pushing the state into an “abyss of political uncertainty and widespread disenchantment”.

Addressing the party’s south zone meeting at Dak Bunglow Anantnag on Monday, Omar said there should be an enquiry into the expenditure of funds that were meant for the dredging of Jehlum after the devastating floods of 2014.

The NC Vice President said that the mandate of 2014 was disrespected and violated when the PDP and BJP formed an alliance after seeking votes against each other during the election campaign. Omar Abdullah said the State’s political uncertainty and state of turmoil was a devastating result of an opportunistic alliance that was responsible for not only alienating the youth but also creating an unprecedented chasm between the three regions of the State.

 

“National Conference doesn’t believe in sacrificing its ideological basis for power and the party will not be a part of any attempts for government formation through rumoured permutations and combinations. We believe in respecting the mandate of the people and will not be a part of any attempts to ridicule and manipulate the aspirations of the people. It is for this precise reason that the party has sought the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly. While we understand that the situation is not conducive for immediate elections in the State, we are of the firm believe that only a fresh democratic exercise can repose the faith of the people in the institutions and system of democracy in the State”, the National Conference Vice President added.

Addressing the meeting for South Zone which included an organizational review of Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian districts, the NC Vice President said there should be an investigation into the funds that were meant for the dredging of Jehlum in the aftermath of the devastating 2014 floods. “What happened to the money meant for dredging the Jehlum? When Mufti Sahab formed an alliance with the BJP in 2014 we were led to believe that one of the main reasons for this sell-out was to facilitate the flow of flood relief and rehabilitation funds to the State. What happened to the 90,000 crore package? Just a few days ago we witnessed how a moderate rainfall for two days brought us on the brink of deluge and destruction as our rivers and floods channels were not dredged and de-silted for the past three and a half years. Is there a massive scam here? The people deserve to know who is responsible and what happened to the funds. Similarly there were massive scams in various other departments where funds have virtually disappeared. Apart from pushing the State into the throes of turmoil and chaos, the PDP-BJP Alliance failed on every single basic front of governance as well”, the NC Vice President said while addressing the meeting.

The National Conference Vice President said while the fall of the PDP-BJP Government had brought some amount of respite to the people and reduced the public anguish and resentment to a certain extent, the situation in the State was still nowhere near what the PDP-BJP Government inherited in 2014. “The first and foremost concern is the restoration of the situation to what it was before 2014. We have to respect the aspirations and sentiments of the people – especially the youth and reach out to them through reconciliatory political initiatives. Neither the political issue, nor the present crisis can be resolved through military or operational means or mechanisms. While National Conference stands and advocates the restoration of Internal Autonomy as a solution to the issue, we should reach out to those who are angry and listen to them. We need to listen to our alienated youth and bring them on board to come out of this situation. We need to find out why highly educated and employed young men are choosing the path of militancy over the prospects of a normal, comfortable life. These are not ordinary trends and we need to find a way out for the sake of future generations”, the NC Vice President added.

The NC Vice President asked the party leaders to work with utmost unity and close collaboration to strengthen the organization at all levels. “Our workers form the backbone of our party and we have to ensure that our organizational structure and functioning is optimal to both strengthen the party and deliver on our promises to the people. We have to ensure that all attempts to weaken us are thwarted and that we deliver an alternative of hope and positivity to the people of the State”, the NC Vice President said.


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Jaish almost wiped out, no one willing to head it: Army

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Army on Wednesday claimed the government forces have “severely targeted” the militants for the last few months and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant outfit was “almost wiped out with no one willing to take over it”.

Addressing a press conference here, GOC 15 Corps, KJS Dhillon, who was accompanied by Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh, IGP Kashmir SP Pani, and IG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan, said that 69 militants have been killed and 12 of them arrested so far this year.

“Post Pulwama incident, 41 militants have been killed and out of them 25 belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, 13 of them were Pakistanis while 13 were A+ category,” Dhillon said.

 

The GOC 15 Corps claimed that they have targeted JeM leadership.

“The situation now is so that no one is coming forward to take over the leadership of JeM in the valley,” he said.

“Even after Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress JeM. The operations against the militants will continue with full vigour and we will not let militancy rise up,” he said, while appealing the local militants to surrender.

“Recruitment of local militants has gone down. In addition, those who surrender, we will take care of their security,” he said.

Dhillon also advised civilians not to rush to the encounter sites.

Asked about the bi-weekly restrictions on civilian traffic on the Highway, he replied, “This is just a temporary measure. There are now relaxations on the civilian traffic.”

On the occasion, the DGP said 272 militants were killed in the state during 2018 and a “large number was apprehended.”

He too claimed that the local recruitment in militant outfits had declined.

“2018 was generally a successful year. There has been less ‘law and order’ problem. We brought many youth (who had joined militancy) back to their homes,” the DGP claimed.

“Elections have been conducted peacefully in the state because of a well-planned security grid. Voter turnover at 13 percent in Anantnag district is not less. People voted despite threats, no one can be forced to vote,” he said.

Asked there were reports that 11 youth had gone missing in south Kashmir during the last one month, the IGP Kashmir said, “Few had gone missing but returned. They had gone missing for other reasons, not to join militancy.”

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Held Pak militant paraded before media

‘Chota Dujana was active in Srinagar for over a year’

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Police on Wednesday presented a Pakistani militant Mohammad Waqar, alias Chota Dujana before the media, who, they claimed, was arrested from Pattan area in Baramulla on Monday.

During a press conference here, the militant was briefly allowed to respond to media.

“My name is Mohammad Waqar, resident of Miana Mohalla Punjab in Pakistan. I underwent a four-month militant training there,” he said.

 

 “I was told that Kashmiris are harassed, women are assaulted and Muslims are not allowed to offer prayers in Masjids. But I did not find any such thing here,” he replied when asked why had he picked up arms.

The militant was soon moved away.

SSP Baramulla, Abdul Wahid, said Waqar was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and had arrived in Kashmir in July 2017.

“He was operating in Srinagar for over a year now,” the officer said.

He added that the militant was travelling in a vehicle along with a Kashmiri when they were intercepted by the police near Mirgund, Pattan.

“They were chased and arrested near Chainabal Pattan,” he said.

The SSP said that as per their preliminary investigations, the militant was given shelter in old city as well as uptown areas of Srinagar.

“His plan was to resurrect militancy in Baramulla,” Wahid said.

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Malik sent to judicial custody till May 24

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New Delhi, Apr 24: A Delhi court Wednesday sent the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, arrested in connection with the alleged funding case, to judicial custody till May 24.

The Tihar jail authorities have also moved an application seeking direction to produce Malik through video conferencing due to security concerns.

The family of Yasin Malik, said on Saturday, that the JKLF chief had fallen ill and was shifted to a Delhi hospital after he went on a hunger strike to protest against his “illegal” detention.

 

Earlier this month, Malik was brought to Delhi from Jammu and was later arrested by NIA in connection with an alleged case related to the funding of militant and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. He was produced in a special court which remanded him in NIA’s custody till April 22.

Malik was shifted to Delhi’s Tihar Jail after NIA secured his production remand.  The JKLF chief was taken into preventive custody in February by the J&K police and lodged in Jammu’s Kot Balwal jail.

Malik organisation JKLF was banned last month by the Centre.

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