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Need to keep education away from Kashmir unrest: CPI (M)

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Jammu, April 9: The leadership of Jammu and Kashmir cutting across political ideologies needs to come together to ensure that students’ education remains unaffected in the prevailing unrest in Kashmir, the CPI(M) said today.
The appeal by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) comes even as Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi to apprised him of the overall situation in J and K, stressing the need to end the cycle of violence by addressing alienation among the youth.
CPI(M) leader and MLA M Y Tarigami said, “We have a short academic session in Kashmir already which is further shrunk by public holidays, strike calls and curfews.”
Combining the number of shutdown calls, curfews, public holidays, winter and summer vacations, educational institutions in Kashmir remain open for less than 150 days, he said.
“Education remains an indispensable social institution and remains to be a single most potent tool of development around the globe,” Tarigami said, adding, “can’t all of us think to find and devise some mechanism so that education doesn’t suffer due to the ongoing unrest?”
“We urged leadership cutting across political ideologies to come together so that precious time of students in Kashmir isn’t wasted due to the prevailing situation,” he said.
“This will need the highest degree of political maturity, strong feeling for a social commitment and support from the executive and mass awareness about the superiority education over all other affairs,” the Left party leader said.
Tarigami said that apart from the loss of human lives which is irreparable and painful, the loss of precious academic days of students due to strikes, clashes and curfews is the second biggest loss.
“Precious academic days have been already lost in the current academic session which in long run will result in our students remaining behind in competitive exams,” he said.
He said there are several examples in world, where despite wars, unrest and other problems leadership ensured that education doesn’t suffer.
“Unrest and violence in the Valley has affected young minds the most. The current situation is a throwback to the situation in the early 1990s when educational institutions almost remained closed most of the times,” he recalled.
The CPI(M) leader said that the situation resulted in Kashmiri students lagging far behind in competitive exams at national level during that period.
Although literacy rate in the state has risen by more than 10 per cent in the last 17 years from 55 per cent in 2001 (as per government figures), however, it is still much lesser than the national average of 74.04 per cent, he said.
“When we talk of empowerment, it is only education which can empower us. Education is not merely about employment but it takes a person on the path of knowledge and emancipation. Education is undoubtedly a key element contributing to empowerment. Without education there cannot be empowerment,” he said.


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Mehbooba welcomes Pak PM’s call to Modi:’Dialogue only way forward to resolve issues’

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Srinagar, May 26: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Sunday welcomed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying dialogue is the only way forward to resolve issues between the two countries.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Khan had called up Modi to congratulate him on his re-election.

“Welcome step. For what it’s worth, dialogue is the only way forward to resolve longstanding issues between India & Pak,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.

 

In their first telephonic conversation after the Balakot air strike, Modi told Khan that creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism was essential for fostering cooperation for peace, progress and prosperity in the region, the MEA said.

Earlier, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and expressed his desire to work together for the betterment of their peoples, the Foreign Office said here. Khan’s telephone call to Modi came days after the cricketer-turned-politician congratulated on Twitter the Indian Prime Minister on his massive electoral victory in the general elections.

Prime Minister Modi on Thursday led his Bharatiya Janata Party to a landmark victory for a second five-year term in office, winning 302 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said that Khan also congratulated Modi on his party’s electoral victory in the Lok Sabha elections.

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Rasheed seeks rehabilitation of shopkeepers at Manchi Krand in Uri

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Uri, May 26: AIP President Er. Rasheed today visited various villages of Uri to take stock of day to day issues of masses and interacted with many deputations.

Er. Rasheed along with party office bearers Mir Khursheeed, Mohd. Rafiq Bhat, Abdul Qudoos and Mohammad Imran also visited Salamabad to offer his condolences to the family of Haji Atta Mohammad whose two members died in a tragic traffic accident at Gharkote Uri.

On the occasion, Er. Rasheed was told that inadequate width of the roads is the main reason of frequent accidents taking place in the hilly areas. He appealed authorities to ensure widening of all important roads connecting remote villages with Uri and Bonyar towns.

 

Er. Rasheed visited Manchi Krand where six shops were gutted in a fire incident few days back. While seeking rehabilitation of the shopkeepers Er. Rasheed talked to Deputy Commissioner Baramulla who assured him of providing ex-gratia to the victims without delay.

Er. Rasheed also urged administration to take care of depilated roads and sought deployment of adequate staff in various Primary health centers, sub-centers and schools.

 Er. Rasheed thanked people of Uri for their massive support to AIP in the recently concluded parliament elections and assured masses that AIP will continue to speak for the rights and aspirations of people of entire state and will emerge as a strong and sustainable alternative to those political parties who have ruled the state but given nothing back to masses except sufferings and hardships.

Er. Rasheed also had an interaction with youth hailing from minority Hindu community at Bandi Manchikrand and assured them of all sorts of help to highlight their genuine issues.

While thanking the entire minority community in the area for voting AIP despite negative propaganda by various political parties, Er. Rasheed hailed minority community in Uri for not migrating to Jammu or some other place and for preferring to live and die with their Muslim brothers.

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Range officer among four forest officials suspended in Doda

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Bhadarwah, May 26 Four forest officials, including a range officer, were placed under suspension on Sunday as authorities seized five sawmills in a special drive in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district, officials said.

However, some owners alleged that their sawmills were non-functional for years and instead of cracking a whip against forest mafia, the forest officials “staged this drama to hide their infighting”.

Range officer of Neeru in Bhadarwah Forest Division, Javid Abdullah Dev along with incharge block officers Liaqat Ali Khan, Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din and Jahangir Iqbal Najar were placed under suspension by principal chief conservator forest, the officials said.

 

They said the suspension followed preliminary inquiry into the illicit felling of trees in various compartments of Neeru range over the past couple of months.

On May 22, seven forest officials including DFO Bhadarwah and Range Officer Chiralla were suspended for illegal activities, including illegal felling of trees and encroachments in Chiralla forest range .

Earlier during the day, the officials said, sleuths of Territorial Forest Department (TFD), Forest Protection Force (FPF) and Police led by Conservator Forest (CF) chenab circle, B Mohan Dass and DFO Doda Alok Moria raided six premises at Gatha, Udrana, Chakka and Sartingal villages in Doda district and seized five sawmills.

“After receiving a specific information about the functioning of sawmills illegally in the peripheral areas of Bhadarwah town, we initiated a drive and seized five sawmills,” Moria told reporters.

He said the operation went smoothly without much resistance from any of the sawmill owners except at the premises of one Harish Kotwal at Udrana.

“We were threatened of dire consequences at Kotwal’s house in presence of senior officers from police and civil administration. We have taken the cognizance and action as per law will be initiated soon, ” Moria said.

The sawmill owners, however, denied any wrong-doing.

“Adhering to court orders, my sawmill is nonfunctional and locked since years, but to my utter surprise, the officials raided my premises and the rusted wheel was seized,” Sheikh Mohd Ayaz, resident of Gatha, claimed.

He said the officials were seizing nonfunctional sawmills, which indicates “they are either settling scores with their fellow colleagues or befooling higher-ups.”

Mohammad Ramzan Batt, another sawmill owner and sarpanch of Udrama, said he has no problem with the seizure because his mill was nonfunctional from the past three years.

“I think all this drama is being staged to justify the suspension of DFO Bhadarwah,” Batt alleged.

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