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‘Panchayat elections more challenging for security agencies than ULB’

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Oct 31: As the authorities are gearing up for upcoming Panchayat elections, the security forces here said that these elections would be more challenging than the recently held Urban Local Body (ULB) polls.

One of the top government officials told that ahead of the Panchayat elections the authorities are in the process of identifying both highly volatile and peaceful constituencies to finalize the arrangements,” the official said wished not to be named.

Panchayat elections in the state will be held in nine phases beginning November 17. Polling will be held on November 17, 20, 24, 27 and 29, and December 1, 4, 8 and 11 in the 35,096 panchayats in the state. The entire election process would be completed by December 17.
The urban local body polls, held in four phases, began October 8 and ended October 16.

Fresh panchayats polls were supposed to be held in 2015. However, these elections were deferred on many occasions due to unrest in Kashmir.

Meanwhile one of the top officials of security forces here told KNS that keeping in view the fact that much larger population is likely participate in Panchayat elections, it will be more challenging for the forces in terms of security. “The panchayat elections will be more challenging because the spread is too much as compared to the urban (local) body elections. But we are prepared for that, the official maintained.

He said that all the top police officials in the Districts have been directed to work out and fine tune the deployment plans in such a way that foolproof security is provided for Panchayat polls.“We are fully geared up for upcoming elections at every level. I am sure elections will pass off peacefully,” the official said.

He said whatever logistic and manpower support required for the polls was being pooled out and will be placed at the disposal for smooth conduct of these elections.

He said that going by the past experience, security forces has sailed through all difficult situation very successfully.
“I’m very confident that this major event also would be conducted in a graceful and successful manner,” he said.

He however said that that stern action will be taken against the elements, who foment trouble during the election process.

Sources told KNS that forces especially Police and CRPF would be at the forefront of the security set-up for the panchayat polls in the State, where the security for individual candidates would also be factored in.

Already, over 213 additional companies (21,300 forces personnel) of CAPF that were deployed by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the two-month Amarnath yatra and most of them have been deployed in districts for pre-election duty.

In central Kashmir of the 213 companies, the highest 71 companies were stationed in Srinagar, Ganderbal and Budgam districts.
While 61 companies were deployed in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara, Bandipora and Handwara and 49 deployed in south Kashmir’s Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian and Awantipora.


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Kashmir

BJP’s poll debacle: ‘Politics of division’, intolerance cost them, say NC, Cong

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Srinagar, Dec 11: National Conference (NC) and Congress on Tuesday attributed the victory of Congress and other parties over BJP in 5 states to the politics of intolerance and suppression of the democratic rights of people during last four years of saffron rule in the country.

State Congress President Ghulam Ahmad Mir said, “Politics of intolerance has no place in India and people have delivered this message to BJP in all the five states which went polls recently. Congress is the only party committed to establish religious plurality in the country and any party tending to divide the people in the country will have to face the fate BJP faced today in the five states.

The results in five states are just a beginning and I am sure BJP will be decimated in 2019 Lok Sabha elections on its own failures including demonetization and politics of religious divides.”

Saying that people have seen regional parties failing on their commitments, Mir claimed that in Jammu and Kashmir too Congress will emerge as the single largest party in the coming assembly elections.

When contacted senior NC leader and party General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said, “Jammu and Kashmir is a different state where the issues are related to its own identity which have to be maintained. People of the country have voted against Mandir-Masjid politics, religious intolerance, renaming of historical cities and cultural places just for vote bank politics.

The people in power have been denied the mandate on the divisive politics they were propagating for the last four years. Jammu and Kashmir Governor must take lessons from the verdict of five states and desist from triggering controversies by tinkering with the state laws and the key institutions.”

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Kashmir

One lakh sanctioned for NoKs of slain pregnant lady of Pulwama: DC tells SHRC

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Dec 11: Deputy Commissioner Pulwama in his reply submitted to the State Human Rights Commission chairman Justice (Rtd) Bilal Nazki stated that RS one lakh has been sanctioned as the ex-gratia and released in favour of the pregnant lady Firdousa of Pulwama who was killed in cross fire after an attack on 44 RR on October 10.
The reply has been submitted in response to the petition filed by chairman international forum for Justice and Human Rights Muhammad Ahsan Untoo under case number SHRC 367/Pul/2018 dated October 25.
The DC Pulwama in its report has said that an FIR number 92/2018 under section 307 RPC stands registered in police station Rajpora and investigation taken up. “The injured lady was taken to district hospital Pulwama where she succumbed to her injuries,” the reply stated, adding that the investigations into the case is going on.
The DC Pulwama said that the RS 1 lakh has been sanctioned in favour of Firdousa’s next of kin has been sanctioned and released.
Meanwhile, petitioner said ex-gratia relief is not justice with the killing. “It is the question of two lives as the lady was pregnant. One lakh compensation is just like adding salt to injuries,” he said and demanded that the guilty forces personnel of 44 RR should be booked as per the law.

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Heritage sites depository of values: Advisor Ganai

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JAMMU, DEC 11: Stressing on the importance of preserving heritage for younger generation, Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai today said that heritage sites are depository of values and status of civilization.
He was speaking here at a meeting convened to discuss the conservation and adaptive re-use of Mubarak Mandi heritage Complex.
The meeting was attended by Commissioner/Secretary, Culture Department, Mohammad Saleem Shishgar, Secretary Tourism Ringzin Samphel, Managing Director JKPCC M Raju, Director Archives, Archaeology and Museums, . Munir-ul-Islam, Director Tourism Jammu O P Bhagat, Director Tourism Kashmir Nisar Ahmed Wani, Executive Director, Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society, Deepika Sharma, representatives of Sanrakshan Heritage consultants and other officials.
Munish Pandit, director Sanrakshan Heritage consultants gave a detailed power point presentation regarding the measures under implementation for restoration of the heritage Complex.
The Advisor Ganai stressed that outcome of the exercise is to portray the long legacy and layers of cultural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir so that it can be promoted as an attraction for tourists and art lovers alike.
The Advisor Ganai also said that the Mubarak Mandi Heritage complex provides opportunity to craftsperson of all regions of state to portray their art and craft to visitors at one place.
The meeting was informed that work is going on in to turn the Mubarak Mandi as a cultural center with an aim to capture memory, revive traditions, revealing histories, reinforcing community identity.
Under the ongoing new project, the re-use of Mubarak Mandi Heritage complex revolves around six identified zones including Mandi, Knowledge centre, interpretation and collection galleries, life style, experiential spaces and crafts center.
He stressed on the need to execute the restoration work in consonance with heritage norms and as per the laid down specifications for such work.
Meanwhile, the meeting was informed about the redevelopment of connecting street and façade up gradation from Chowk Chabutara to Mubarak Mandi and Panjithirthi to Mubarak Mandi besides development of parking at Paanjitirthi and Peer Kho.

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