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OIC asks India to allow fact-finding mission to Kashmir

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Srinagar, Dec 17:The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned the civilian killings in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and asked the Government of India to allow the organisation and its human rights wing to send a fact finding mission to the valley.

In a series of tweets, OIC General Secretariat said: “OIC General Secretariat expressed strong condemnation of the killing of innocent Kashmiris by #Indian forces in Indian-occupied #Kashmir (#IOK) where direct shooting at demonstrators in Pulwama region claimed the lives of a number of innocent citizens.”

In another tweet, the group of 57 Muslim countries said the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of OIC received a detailed briefing on the worsening human rights situation in Kashmir valley.

 

“OIC_IPHRC recently received detailed briefing on the worsening #human rights situation in the #Indian occupied #Kashmir (#IoK). @OIC_IPHRC condemned the recent wave of violence against civilians & called on Indian Government to allow #OIC & IPHRC fact finding mission to visit IoK,” it said in another tweet.

Later, a statement OIC-IPHRC said it strongly condemned the “deplorable extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiris in Pulwama district of Kashmir by the Indian security forces.”

The statement urged the ‘Indian Government to put an end to the human rights abuses.’

“The excessive and arbitrary use of force by Indian forces against innocent civilians, peacefully protesting for their legitimate rights, is deplorable and a blatant violation of their human rights including the right to life, right to freedom of expression, right to peaceful protests and assembly and other fundamental human rights,” the statement said.

It said the commission notes that the modern history of Kashmir has become synonymous with “insidious systematic and systemic ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Kashmiris where all possible means of violence including mass blinding through pellet guns, rape and molestation against women, enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings of youth are used to quell their legitimate and well recognized demand for self-determination.”

“The objective report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, issued in June this year, aptly covers these violations in detail. The High Commissioner for Human Rights also called for establishing a Commission of Inquiry under UN auspices to comprehensively investigate the confirmed allegations of human rights violations, which are fully supported by the IPHRC,” it said.

The Commission also urges the Government of India to abide by its international human rights obligations by bringing an end to the gross human rights violations and allow the international human rights community including the UN and OIC to visit Kashmir to objectively and independently report on the human rights situation, it said.

It also urged the UN, the OIC and the international community to exert pressure on the Indian Government to immediately stop the ‘heavy handedness of its security forces’, guarantee protection of human rights of innocent Kashmiris and accede to UN mandated plebiscite for durable peace in the region.

The condemnation statement from OIC has come a day after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that he had written a letter to the OIC secretary general along with letters to the United Nations secretary general and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Qureshi while condemning the civilian killings in Pulwama by the government forces over the weekend had said he had asked the officials to intervene with haste “so that people could get relief from this brutality”.

Qureshi added that he had asked the OIC to immediately convene an inter-ministerial meeting of its’ Contact Group on Kashmir, saying Pakistan was ready to host the event.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday also sharply condemned the killings of civilians in Pulwama.

“We will raise [the] issue of India’s human rights violations in IOK & demand UNSC [UN Security Council] fulfill its J&K plebiscite commitment,” the premier had tweeted.

“Kashmiris must be allowed to decide their future,” Khan added, stressing that the Kashmir conflict could only be resolved through dialogue and “not violence & killings”.


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Pak ‘duty-bound’ to share info: Guv

Says militant infrastructure ‘disrupted’, remaining militants to be sternly dealt with

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Srinagar, Jun 19: Asserting that his administration has “disrupted” militant infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said that Pakistan is “duty-bound” to share intelligence inputs about militant attacks with the Government of India.

However, in an apparent jibe, the Governor said “it needs to be seen how many attacks Pakistan is able to stop on its own soil.”

“Pakistan is duty-bound to share intelligence inputs with us. But it also needs to be seen how many attacks are they (Pakistan) able to stop on its own soil,’ Malik said at a police function in SKICC, Srinagar on Wednesday.

 

Asked about the recent increase in militant activities in the valley, the Governor said as his administration has disrupted the militant infrastructure in the state, the militants are doing “one-odd attacks to keep themselves relevant.

“No one has been able to stop one or two attacks, not even America, England or France. But we are working on it and will be able to find a solution to the problem. We will deal with them (militants) sternly and with precision,” he said.

He said that militant recruitment and stone pelting incidents across the Kashmir Valley have also come down.

“No stone pelting takes place anywhere now not even after Friday prayers. A number of youth have also joined their families back and are leaving the militant ranks. Yesterday only two more boys returned to their families,” Malik said.

Last week on Saturday, the Governor had made a similar briefing about the state while addressing the 5th Governing Council meeting of Niti Aayog.

He’d told the meeting that the militant activities have come down in J&K as the people of the state are “not giving shelter to militants.”

Malik had also said time had come to focus on development of the state while giving a PowerPoint presentation and figures about militant activities.

The Governor had claimed that the administration was getting information about militants and their “activities by locals and that they are not offering shelter to those involved in militant activities.”

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JK Bank case: ACB widens ambit, seeks admitted signatures of 13 officers including two past chairmen

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Jun 19: Widening the ambit of the investigations, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has sought the admitted signatures of 13 senior officials of Jammu and Kashmir Bank including its two former chairmen in connection with the case related to alleged backdoor appointments.

A top source in the Anti-Corruption Bureau told The Kashmir Monitor that Senior Superintendent of ACB recently wrote a letter to the incumbent chairman of the J&K Bank to provide details of 10 admitted signatures, handwriting, and initials of 13 officers of the bank.

Among the13 officers, the source said, two are former J&K Bank chairmen. “Most officials have either served in the Human Resource Department or are still posted there,” the source said.

 

The ACB had registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the basis of a complaint about the alleged illegal and fraudulent appointments made in the bank.

The allegations reflected in the complaint disclose commission of criminal misconduct by J&K Bank officers.

“This constitutes offence under section 5(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act Samvat 2006 and punishable under section 5(2) of the Act. A case FIR No 10/2019 was registered in Police Station Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Central Kashmir in Srinagar. Investigation of the case has also been taken up,” a spokesman of ACB had said.

The ACB officials refused to share the details saying: “The case is under investigation”.

However, a senior official, who wished not to be quoted, said: “Once we receive the admitted signatures, handwriting, and initials, the same will be forwarded to Forensic Scientific Laboratory to ascertain whether they match with the records we have seized during raids.”

The ACB is currently investigating 1,200 appointments, made allegedly at the behest of some political leaders of the previous PDP-BJP dispensation.

The government recently removed Parvez Ahmad as JK Bank Chairman. There are also allegations of large-scale irregularities in matters related to loans, finances and appointments.

The ACB sleuths on Wednesday raided the official residence of deposed chairman of JK Bank Parvez Ahmad near Polo View Lal Chowk. The ACB team also raided the house of Ahmad’s brother at Natipora area.

The union home ministry and the state government have decided to split the post of chairman-cum managing director of the bank in accordance with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines.

RK Chhibber, who was the bank’s executive president, has been named as the interim CMD.

Jammu and Kashmir government has 59.3 percent stakes in the bank, which has been established in 1938.

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Modi chairs all-party meet; Cong, TMC give it a miss

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Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti attending the all-party meet called on 'one nation, one election' by PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday (Photo: KM/Shanker Chakravarty)

New Delhi, Jun 19: “Most parties gave their support to ‘One Nation, One Election‘, CPI(M) and CPI had a difference of opinion but they didn’t oppose the idea, just the implementation of it,” Defence minister Rajnath Singh declared on Wednesday after the all-party meet on the same concluded.

He added, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address, said that a committee will be constituted to give its suggestions on the subject (One Nation, One Election) in a time-bound manner.”

One of the affirmative voices came from Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik, who on Wednesday said, “Our party is supporting the idea of One Nation, One Election.”

 

The Modi government-led meeting of the heads of political parties to discuss the proposal of ‘One Nation One Election’, among other issues was held in the Parliament even as several party patriarchs skipped the meet.

Out of those who opted to sit out this ‘crucial meet’ were Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President M K Stalin, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu. Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati and her former ally Samajwadi Party too decided to skip the meeting. Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal too did not attend the meeting but the party sent Raghav Chaddha as its representative.

Attacking the moot point of the meet today, BSP chief Mayawati said that holding simultaneous national and state elections “appears to be an undemocratic and unconstitutional” idea for a vast country like India. She added that elections in any democracy can never be a problem “nor elections should be weighed from the point of view of expenditure and extravagance”.

‘One nation, one election’ is not an issue before the country, she said. Elections through ballot papers are actually the national issue and our party will continue its struggle for it,” Mayawati declared.

On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also claimed that she would have joined the meeting had it been on EVMs. She had declined the invitation to attend and had asked the Centre to instead prepare a white paper on the “one nation, one election” issue for consultations.

Sources said that Opposition parties are wary of the meeting convened by the prime minister as they feel this might be a “trap” set by the BJP and needs proper discussion before going ahead.

The agenda for the meeting also includes the celebration of 75 years of Independence in 2022 and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year. It will be followed by a dinner meeting with all the MPs on Thursday.

Meanwhile, JD(U)’s chief Nitish Kumar, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, BJD’s Naveen Patnaik, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti and YSRCP’s Jaganmohan Reddy are among those who attended the meeting.

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